If you have read any of my Money Saving Tips for your Big Trip, you may know that we have 3 huge trips coming up this year, including Hawaii. While I am very excited for these awesome trips, the thought of pricing for our airline tickets really scared me. I have heard a lot of “experts” say to purchase your tickets on Tuesday evening or Sunday. With all of this information running around, I decided to do a little searching myself and see what I found. The amount of information was shocking. I will start out by saying something that might seem silly, but the cheapest time to fly, is on the most unpopular travel days; Tuesdays, Wednesday and Saturdays. Thus is also make sense that the most expensive days would be Friday and Sunday’s when everyone is going and wanting to get back home before work on Monday. It is also cheaper to fly when most people don’t want to fly, including flights at dawn, red-eyes (overnight flights) and flights around the dinner hour. Granted this may not always be possible, but maybe you can fly cheaper on one leg of the trip and at least save a little money one way. While searching I found out why many people say the best time to purchase airline tickets is on Tuesday afternoon around 3 pm Eastern. Apparently this is when airlines release the most sales and the competition matches the lower prices so you have more deals to choose from. I honestly haven’t noticed a different yet, but I will definitely be keeping a closer eye on this one.
While the time of day is important, what is more important is how far in advance you purchase your airline tickets. From all the reading I did, general consensus is that domestic tickets will be at their lowest price six weeks before your date of departure. After that six-week point, ticket prices tend to climb up slowly, then spike to their highest point a few days before departure. Of course you could score a great last minute sale, but it’s usually not a good solution. Could end up costing you twice as much if you really need to be somewhere
Best advice is to start haunting the sites really early, and when you see a good deal, grab it. Don’t keep waiting and watching to see if it will go down, because it probably won’t. What’s the old saving, pound wise penny foolish? Trying to save a few bucks, could cost you more in the long run.
As you can see the price of airline tickets can be unpredictable. But here are a few tips that might help you save a little when booking your airfare. Beware that many airlines and travel web sites (such as Expedia, Kayak, etc.) track how many times you’ve visited their websites. In so doing, they provide different offers and deals depending on the user. To make sure you’re getting the best prices when you book air travel online, be sure to clear your web browser’s cookies and cache. This will make it appear as if it’s your first time visiting these sites, and you’re likely to see much better prices for your next flight!
I also want to mention that a lot of airlines will have Airfare alerts you can set up that will send you an email or post on Twitter when they have sales to certain cities, etc. It may help if it’s during the time you want to fly. I figure it can’t hurt.
I will end this by saying, throw out the Tuesday or Sunday thing and just keep an eye out for deals or sales and you may get luck. The airlines are mixing things up, so we need to roll with the times. Good luck, and happy travels!
LIKE WHAT YOU ARE READING?
I would love to send you my free travel itinerary cheat sheets and emails when I post new articles! I usually post 2 times a week. Sign up now, receive your free travel sheets and don’t miss an article. Thanks, Samantha