Is there a cheapest and best day to buy flight?
The best day to buy flights is Tuesday. Why? Airlines begin to publish last minute fares on Monday evenings. Other airlines will wait and see, and begin to price match accordingly on Tuesday morning. In most cases, the best time to start deal hunting is on Tuesday afternoon.
However, don’t click the “buy” button just yet.
At Cheep, buy any ticket on a Tuesday afternoon is not recommended.
Just because the cheapest fare is publish by the airline doesn’t mean you should book it.
There are many variables that goes into a price.
For example, if you are trying to book a last minute flight through an airline, depending on route, that last minute route maybe more expensive because of seasonal demand.
In fact, most fares studied shows that economy and premium cabin prices tend to rise as the departure date gests closer. Waiting until the last minute to book a flight can be a gamble.
Our recommendations for inexpensive travel:
- Book flights at least three weeks ahead of departure. Studies show that flights book at least 3 weeks earlier have saved travelers 20% or more.
- Book flights with a journey that starts on Saturday or Sunday, and returns back on a Monday or Tuesday. Demand for flights are the lowest for a Saturday or Sunday departure with a return date on Monday or Tuesday. Many business travelers commute between Monday – Friday which airlines capitalize on the demand and increase fares accordingly.
If you travel on a popular business destination route such as New York or Washington D.C., you’ll need to plan out at least 3 months in advance for the best fare deal.
Non traditional, leisurely focused routes such as Hawaii or Miami, try to book one month in advance so you don’t overpay.
Studies by Hopper app which analyzes trillions of data points can predict with 95% accuracy through forecasting models when a price of a fare/route would change up to 1 year of departure.
Their studies have discovered that Thursdays are best days to book domestic routes with potential savings of 3.4% or about $10 and international flights of 3.5% of about $25.
That is not a whole lot of savings if you are trying to time when to start searching for great fare deal.
The reality is that to score the cheapest flight matters less on the day you look for flights, but more dependent on the day of departure.
It use to be humans that enter fare deals on Tuesday and with that comes price mistake fares.
Today, these systems are much more sophisticated where airlines have transition over to sophisticated computers to analyze big data and human behavior along with seasonal information about a destination that enables them to price competitive.
In the end, the airlines are able to maximize their sales by targeting a price that most people would pay for without alienating.
So how DO you find the cheapest fare?
Fare finder subscription sites such as Scott’s Cheap Flights can be a great alternative for flash sales or mistake fares.
With time sensitive fares, many subscription sites that are powered by humans aren’t going to be as comprehensive.
In fact, SCF has pulled out some departing countries because the value of finding flight deals from Canada is not scalable.
Many of these subscription sites have automated the process by creating fare alerts through Google Flights on routes.
Because Google Flights allows you to enter up to 8 origins, they can scale up how many flights to go back and independently verify.
Once the verification is complete, the writer has to login, compose a new blog post, find images, write up the newsletter, and send it out.
By the time you receive the fare in your email box, the fare may already change. In fact, often times, the fare has changed during the time the fare was reviewed.
The limitation of many meta search sites is that the trade off speed to get results across millions of routes that changes per day is the price is generally stale unless it’s a very popular route.
How does Cheep find the cheapest fare?
Cheep’s secret sauce is that it constantly searches for fares across 110,000+ routes daily across the U.S.
Using a weighted matrix scheme, it identifies and filter cheap and mistake fares.
These fares are immediately published without any human intervention.
Cheep publish deals as soon as it meets any of these criteria’s so you never miss a great deal or wait until 2-3 weeks before the fare pops up again.