Tips + Trends

The Best Day to Buy a Flight and Other Tips to Save Money When You Fly

Buying an airline ticket can be a stressful situation. There never seems to be a perfect time to catch a good price since they seem to go up and down like an anxiety inducing rollercoaster. Feel free to relax a little with these great tips for booking your next flight.

The Best Days to Buy

Sunday is said to be the best day to purchase a ticket when flying within the U.S., Europe and Asia, according to Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corp, saving you anywhere from 11% to 38% over the same ticket on Friday.

But Tuesday, around 3 p.m. EST, is a good back up given that’s when airlines discount their fares to match rivals, according to FareCompare.

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The Worst Day to Buy

Avoid buying a ticket on Friday. It’s the worst day to find a good deal, since the airlines hike their ticket prices knowing that’s when business travelers tend to wait to make their travel arrangements.

How Far In Advance You Should Book

The consensus is to make your purchase at least 21 days in advance, and preferably three months before your trip when considering a flight during the holidays or the peak summer months.

The Best Days to Fly (Because of Price)

If it doesn’t matter which day you can fly, pick Tuesday or Wednesday, since that’s when airlines are trying to fill their planes.

Business travelers tend to travel on Monday and Friday, with leisure travelers often returning home on Sunday.

Flights with Saturday-night stays also often come with the best price.

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When to Buy for the Holidays

For Thanksgiving, airlines offer the best deals the week of October 31, according to data from Skyscanner.

Deals for Christmas can be found the week of November 21. For New Year’s, the best time to make your plans to celebrate is December 5, Skyscanner says.

Naturally, for those of us who like to play the game of finding the best deal, “There is no secret time,” to buy a flight, AirfareWatchdog’s George Hobica has said. “You need to look four times a day—minimum—every day of the week, as far in advance as you can.”