You might have heard that flights are cheaper on Tuesday, but is this fact or fiction?
Flying on a Tuesday can be cheaper, as weekdays are usually less expensive to fly on than the weekends, especially if flying internationally.
However, when it comes to actually booking a flight on a Tuesday, there is no reason to believe that you will get a cheaper deal – at least nowadays.
Table of Contents
- 1 Flights Were Once Cheapest on Tuesdays
- 2 There is No Best Day to Book a Flight
- 3 There is No Best Time to Book a Flight
- 4 Book in Advance to Secure the Best Deal
- 5 Last Minute Flights Definitely Aren’t Cheaper
- 6 Flight Prices Can Change Daily
- 7 Flight Prices Can Decrease Over Time
- 8 Flight Prices Won’t Go Up the More You Search
Flights Were Once Cheapest on Tuesdays
Tuesday used to be the cheapest day to book a flight because airlines used to manually update their prices at a certain time of day each week, which was usually on a Tuesday.
Today, airlines update their flight prices often and automatically through the help of algorithms that take into account:
- Market conditions
- Number of flight bookings
- Seat Availability
- Number of Routes
There is No Best Day to Book a Flight
There isn’t a best day to book a flight, though there can be cheaper days of the week to fly, with data showing that Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the best.
For example, domestic flights in the United States cost $301 on Tuesdays and $304 on average.
There is No Best Time to Book a Flight
There is weak evidence to suggest that booking a flight at midnight or in the early hours results in cheaper prices.
This may be because fewer people visit airline websites and book tickets at midnight and in the early morning hours, so there’s lower demand at night.
In our opinion, it isn’t worth staying up late at night in the hope that you can book a cheaper flight because it’s unlikely to make much difference.
Book in Advance to Secure the Best Deal
There isn’t necessarily a best month to book a flight, though data shows that the best time to book a domestic flight is 1 to 4 months before the departure date, and 2 to 8 months for international flights to get the best price.
When it comes to actually flying, a much bigger influence on price are things like market conditions, supply and demand, the holidays, and the peak tourism season at the destination.
Generally, December is the most expensive month to fly because of the holidays.
The average round-trip flight in the United States costs $360 in December, compared to $279 in January.
Last Minute Flights Definitely Aren’t Cheaper
While it used to be cheaper to purchase a flight at the last minute because airlines used to prioritize selling all seats, this is no longer the case.
Today, airlines actually charge passengers more for last-minute tickets, as it’s more likely that there will be fewer seats available and airlines know that most passengers who buy last-minute tickets are willing to pay more for.
CheapAir.com reports that according to the 2019 Annual Airfare Study, ticket rates increase within 3 weeks of the departure date.
Flight Prices Can Change Daily
Flight prices can change multiple times a day, but they normally change only once a day, if at all.
It all depends on competitor’s prices and a few other factors, which is done to maximize profits and increase the number of filled seats.
Flight Prices Can Decrease Over Time
Normally, airlines accept flight bookings 11 months before departure dates, with the prices changing multiple times from then until the day of departure.
It’s hard to say just how often flight prices change because complex algorithms are used by airlines to update their prices.
Generally, airfares will generally remain lowest between 4 months and 3 weeks before the departure date, and then will increase 3 weeks before departure.
Flight Prices Won’t Go Up the More You Search
There is no evidence that definitively proves that flight prices go up the more you search, with other factors being at play for the increase in prices instead.
While airlines track users’ cookies, there’s no evidence that they change prices using this information, instead using it for advertising and marketing purposes.
If airlines raise prices the more you search, it’s very likely someone working for an airline would have come out and said it by now, but this hasn’t been the case.
If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can clear your cookies, use incognito mode, and use a VPN when booking a flight.
Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.
Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.
Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).