Although there are numerous methods to save money on flights, purchasing airfare on a particular weekday is not one of them, as per the findings of Google Flights.
While booking flights during the middle of the week, particularly around midnight on Tuesdays, is frequently recommended as the optimal time, data from the past five years indicate that airfares acquired on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays were only 1.9% cheaper on average than those purchased over the weekend.
James Byers, the group product manager of Google Flights, suggested in a blog post that if your travel plans are scheduled in a few weeks, you should book your flight right away to avoid the risk of the price going up, instead of waiting for Tuesday to arrive.
Google Flights’ investigation, which studied half a decade of historical flight information from August 1, 2017, to August 1, 2022, discovered that while the day of the week that travelers book their flights may not be significant, the day they travel is.
According to James Byers, “On average, flights leaving on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays have been 12% less expensive than those departing on weekends.” He further stated, “If you remove international locations, the potential savings increase to 20%.”
The data also shows that another typical tactic of booking flights early is effective. For domestic flights within the United States, airfares are the lowest between three and eight weeks prior to the departure date, with prices hitting a minimum 44 days ahead, according to the research.
Google Flights also reveals that non-stop flights are roughly 20% more costly than flights with layovers, but layovers increase the chances of disruptions.
An Instagram survey conducted by travel insurance company World Nomads found that over one-third of respondents had to spend up to $250 on flights, meals, or accommodations as a result of flight delays or cancellations during the summer, while 12% spent between $500 and $1,000.
Best time to book
Using its past records, Google Flights proposes the optimal booking periods for high-demand trips and frequently taken routes.
When to book flights
|Flights||Suggested booking window||Cheapest airfare|
|Thanksgiving||36-74 days out||52 days out|
|Christmas||20 to 88 days out||22 days out|
|Spring Break||23-59 days out||38 days out|
|Summer vacation*||14-44 days out||21 days out|
|From U.S. to Europe||50-179 days out||129 days out|
|From U.S. to Mexico or the Caribbean||37-87 days out||59 days out|
Source: Google Flights, published Aug. 31, 2022 examining U.S. airfares from past five years.
If travelers are looking to reduce expenses on air travel to Europe, it is recommended that they plan ahead as early as possible. However, for summer vacationers, it may be feasible to make arrangements weeks ahead of time, rather than months.