When you travel, the less money you spend on flights, the more money you have to spend on things that actually matter, such as sightseeing and eating out. There are several strategies to save money on flight, and one of the easiest, if you can accomplish it, is to change the date of your trip.
So, when is the best time to book a flight? The cheapest days to fly are usually in the middle of the week, with Fridays and Sundays being the most costly. However, because of the pandemic’s impact on travel, pent-up demand for air travel implies that common knowledge regarding pricing isn’t necessarily so sound.
Here Are the Cheapest Days of the Week to Fly
According to travel discount site FareCompare, the cheapest days to fly are often Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, while Fridays and Sundays are the most expensive. Leisure tourists often fly on weekends, beginning their holidays on Friday or having a long weekend from Friday to Sunday. Business travelers often return on Fridays and leave on Sunday nights. Mid-week flights are less expensive since there is less demand from both business and leisure passengers.
Compare rates for a nonstop, one-way Delta trip from New York City’s JFK Airport to Los Angeles International Airport in early September, for example. The lowest Sunday price is $199. The lowest price decreases to $169 on Monday. The airfare costs $119 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, but $169 on Fridays. On Saturday, it reverts to $119.
What’s the Cheapest Time of Day to Fly?
Flights in the early morning and late at night are often less expensive than flights in the afternoon. For example, the aforementioned September Delta trip costs $119 at 7 a.m. on a Saturday, while a flight at 1:57 p.m. on the same day costs $263—more than twice the price of the early morning travel.
However, rules on the best days and times to fly aren’t failsafe, particularly in today’s travel climate. In late August, for example, a nonstop, one-way Delta trip from New York City’s JFK Airport to Los Angeles International Airport costs $150 Monday through Thursday and $169 on Sunday. Friday, which should be the most costly day of the week, has the lowest ticket ($146), while a 7 a.m. flight (which should be cheaper) costs $199.
How to Save Money on Flights
You may save money by changing your flight schedule and flying out before daybreak on Tuesday, but there are other ways to save money on flights.
- Make some price comparisons. Begin by using third-party travel price comparison websites such as Google Flights, Kayak, or Skyscanner. Most allow you to create price alerts on certain routes or see price estimates. Check pricing on airline websites before making a purchase. Buying direct may save you money and allow you to adjust your schedule more easily if necessary.
- Dates should be flexible. Arriving a few days early or departing a few days later than intended may result in cost savings.
- Avoid popular dates and times of year. Airfares are higher in the middle of the summer, when most people are on holiday, as well as shortly before and after Thanksgiving and Christmas. For example, Google Flights estimates that a one-way, nonstop travel from New York City’s JFK airport to Los Angeles International Airport begins at $119 for the month of November. The lowest fare, though, more than doubles to $269 the day before Thanksgiving; flights begin at $435 the following Sunday.
- Take into account connecting flights. Connecting flights are often less expensive than nonstop trips. Weigh the savings against the discomfort of additional travel time, increased chances of baggage loss, and the possibility of missing a connecting connection.
- Start your shopping early. App for predicting airline fares According to Hopper, the optimal time to book a low-cost flight is 25 to 150 days before departure. If you’re going to a popular place, such as Hawaii in July, start looking as soon as possible.
- Participate in airline frequent flyer programs. Members may earn points for future travel and get fare savings.
- Get a credit card with airline rewards. Look for one that offers an initial sign-up bonus in the form of points or miles for spending a particular amount on the card within a specified time period. You may be able to make enough money to cover the cost of a plane ticket. Airline rewards cardholders often get benefits such as free checked luggage, trip credits, upgrades, and preferential boarding. Credit Cadabra can help you find customised offers for travel rewards cards.
- Keep an eye out for the extras. Examine the small print of flight offers for hidden fees. Fees for checking luggage and changing flights may quickly pile up.
Travel Wisely and Save Money
It’s a good idea to have a couple of credit cards with you when you travel. Using credit cards is more convenient and secure than carrying cash; if your card is lost or stolen, you can freeze it and receive a replacement promptly. Credit cards that provide trip or rental vehicle insurance, as well as other travel benefits, may also bring peace of mind. When going abroad, carry a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees.
Most travel rewards credit cards demand good or great credit, so get to know your credit before applying. You may check your credit report from all three agencies at AnnualCreditReport.com to see whether there are any late payments, hard inquiries, or accounts in collections. You may also get your credit report straight from annualcreditreport.com for free. Importantly, you should also check your FICO® Score to ensure that you fulfill the minimal standards of the credit card provider. If not, as you plan your vacation, concentrate on boosting your credit score.