How To Get Cheap Flights

How To Get Cheap Flights

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Cheapest Day To Fly

In the never-ending quest for how to get cheap airline tickets, one of the secrets shared now and then concerns timing. There is, we are told, a cheaper day of the week to schedule your flight or to buy your ticket, and as it turns out, that seems to be true. The reason is complicated and has to do with how much demand there is for tickets on each day, and how easy it is for the airline to book flights so that all available seats are filled. Both these factors affect how much airlines charge for tickets on a given day of the week.


Demand for flights is lowest, perhaps surprisingly, on Saturday. But it shouldn't be a surprise, because most flights are scheduled round-trip rather than one-way, and if one is traveling for fun, most people (anyone working a regular Monday through Friday job) would rather book the return trip for a Sunday instead of a Saturday. The second-lowest demand day is Tuesday, and the third is Wednesday. The most-demanded flight days are Thursday and Friday, again probably because of that go-for-the-weekend reason (taking one or two vacation days to extend the time).


So that means the cheapest fares are for flights on Saturday, right? Not so fast. There's that other consideration. Again, bear in mind that most flights are round-trip, not one-way, so a flight out booked on Tuesday is not independent of another flight (for the return) booked on another, later day of the week. Most flights are at least overnight, usually a little longer, so that a flight out on Tuesday also means a flight back on Wednesday (not so common), Thursday, or a later day.


Continued below..

And that all means that the airline will consider how hard it has to work to fill all of the seats on a particular flight both in and out. This works into determining the airlines' discounts and special packages and incentives for flights any particular day of the week.


Which is a lot of unnecessary complication leading up to the simple statement that the cheapest day of the week to fly, statistically, is Wednesday.


Does that mean you can't often find a flight on another day to the same destination that is cheaper than on Wednesday? No, it doesn't -- "statistically" means "more often than not, but not always." So you still need to do your homework here. There's no easy sure-fire method of getting the lowest fares.


In fact, the day of the week impacts the price of the ticket a good deal less than what part of the year you want to fly. That's particularly true, of course, to seasonal vacation destinations like Hawaii or Vale, but it's often true about other destinations, too.


Overall, the cheapest days of the year to book flights are in the so-called "dead zones" when fewer people fly: the first two weeks of December (after Thanksgiving but well before Christmas), most of the month of January, and in the spring and fall except for the scholastic spring break weeks in March and April.


The difference can be very substantial. For example, flights cross-continent from Los Angeles to New York can be more than $200 cheaper during the dead zone than in peak travel times.


Besides price, there's another advantage to traveling to any destination during an off-peak time: it won't be as crowded. Of course, that won't do you much good if you're going to someplace where there's only one thing to do and you can only do it in one time of the year (there's Vale again -- what's the point of going there in the summer?), but for many destinations, a lot of the attractions are available year round, but most people tend to go at only certain times of the year.

Cheapest Days To Fly Video