Best Days & Times to Book Flights & Airline Tickets in 2022 - The Vacationer (2023)

Phil Dengler

Contrary to popular belief, there is no best day to finding cheap flight deals. While many myths say Tuesday or Wednesday mornings are the best days, there is no evidence to support such claims. The good news is you can find cheap flight prices any day of the week. Read on to see where this myth may have originated plus other tips on scoring the best flight deals.

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Table of Contents

(Video) Cheap Flights Hacks: How to Save Money Booking Airfare

The Best Days To Book Flights are Not Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Previously, airlines manually inputed new flight prices. That meant prices were actually cheaper after new prices were uploaded. That lead to the myth that Tuesday or Wednesday mornings were the best days to book. While you can find a great deal on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning, there is nothing special about those times.

Today, airline prices are decided in realtime by complex algorithms. That means great prices are available every day of the week and at every time. In other words, you no longer have to wake up at the crack of dawn on Tuesday or Wednesday to search for flights.

The Best Time to Book Flights is Not Very Early in the Morning

The Tuesday and Wednesday myth also claims you must search very early in the morning. While great prices may exist at 4am or 5am, there is no truth to those times being special. Search for flights when you have time as opposed to sticking to a rigid schedule. That ensures you will not miss a great deal since a Friday night or Saturday afternoon may actually offer the best price for your flight.

The Best Days to Book Holiday Flights (Thanksgiving and Christmas)

The same rules apply to Thanksgiving and Christmas flights. While it may be harder to find great deals on holiday flights, it is possible. Search as far in advance as possible. You should book as soon as you find a price that is within your budget because there are only a limited number of holiday flights available. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are not special, so do not give those days any extra attention.

Read our complete guide on The Best and Worst Days to Fly for the Holidays more information.

The Best Days of the Week to Fly

Best Days & Times to Book Flights & Airline Tickets in 2022 - The Vacationer (1)

Screenshot: Google Flights – Calendar view showing the best and worst days to fly.

While there is no best day to book flights, there are better days of the week to fly. Generally, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days of the week to fly. Saturday is usually the cheapest weekend day to fly.

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Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays are generally the most expensive days to fly. While business travel is still slow due to Covid-19, Mondays and Fridays are popular days for such travelers. Sundays are popular because that is the day many personal travelers fly home after their vacation.

If possible, schedule your trip to fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays for the best prices.

Further reading: See our guide.

The Best Websites to Book Cheap Flights

While many tools and websites exist to book cheap flights, some are better than others. Here are our picks. Also see our Worst Seats on a Plane guide and our Best Seats on a Plane guide to know which seats to avoid and how to avoid them.

Google Flights

We recommend starting and ending your flight search with Google Flights. It offers powerful filtering options and shows prices from just about every airline. It is an aggregator, so you book your flight directly with the airline as opposed to with Google. Its price alerts feature allows you to track prices for a particular date so you know exactly when to book. Its calendar view allows you to see the cheapest days for your flight, so you can quickly see fare differences for entire months.

See our complete guide on Using Google Flights to Find Cheap Flight Deals.

Directly With The Airline

You can also search for prices directly on the airline’s website. This is especially important when booking Southwest Airlines flights since it does not appear on Google Flights and other aggregators. For other airlines, we recommend just using Google Flights since it shows the lowest prices from a variety of airlines at once.

Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)

Popular OTAs include Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz. With an OTA, you book directly with the OTA as opposed to the airline. In some cases, OTAs may offer cheaper flight prices, but there are drawbacks. If you need to change or cancel your flight, you must contact the OTA instead of the airline. While major OTAs usually have good customer service, they are essentially a middleman between you and the airline. Additionally, OTAs may prevent you from taking advantage of the 24-Hour Cancellation Rule.

Aggregators

Popular flight aggregators include Google Flights (see our full Google Flights guide), Skyscanner (see our full Skyscanner guide), and Kayak (see our full Kayak guide). Aggregators show flight prices from airlines and/or OTAs. With aggregators, you do not book directly on the aggregator’s website. Instead, you will book with the airline directly or with the OTA.

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Take Advantage of The 24-Hour Cancellation Rule

We recommend immediately booking a cheap flight when you see it. Prices change regularly, so the great price you find may not last long. That means do not wait until Tuesday or Wednesday if you find a great deal on a Saturday. Remember, there is no best day to book flights, and the best price may be available when you least expect it.

The 24-hour cancellation rules allows you to book with confidence. This rule allows you to cancel non-refundable flights within 24 hours of booking that are arriving to or departing from a United States airport. The flight must be booked seven or more days before departure.

FAQ

What is the best day to book cheap flights?

There is no best day to book cheap flights. Common myths claim Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to book flights, but there is no truth to such claims. Buy your airline tickets when you see a price that works for you.

Should I book my flight on a Tuesday morning?

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There is nothing special about booking flights on Tuesday mornings. While Tuesday may have cheap flight prices, it is not more likely to have the best deals than other days.

What is the best day of the week to book holiday flights for Thanksgiving and Christmas?

The same rule applies to holiday flights. There is no best day to book Thanksgiving and Christmas flights. Great deals are available every day of the week.

What is the best time to book cheap flights?

There is no best time to book flights. You can find low prices any hour of the day, so do not limit yourself to a specific time.

What is the best day of the week to fly?

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Generally, the best days of the week to fly are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts

Great flight prices are available every day of the week, so do not focus on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. You should also book a cheap flight right when you see it. The 24-hour cancellation rule allows you 24 hours to cancel it, so you will not be locked in. As always, start your flight search with Google Flights. Consider using an airline credit card to get the best price on airfare as well as seat upgrades and other benefits.

Editorial Disclosure:Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

FAQs

What is the best day to purchase airline tickets 2022? ›

In 2022, the cheapest day of the week to fly is Wednesday. Flying on Wednesday will save you $57 per airline ticket versus the most expensive day to travel, which is Sunday. Tuesday follows Wednesday closely, with average savings of $56 versus the most expensive day to fly.

What day of the week is the best day to book a flight? ›

There is no best day to book flights

“Cheap flight prices are available 24/7, so you should not limit yourself to a particular day or time.” “I regularly search for and book flights and have found great deals every single day of the week,” adds Dengler.

What is the best day to purchase airline tickets? ›

Average domestic airfare price by day
  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly domestically.
  • Saturday and Monday flights can help you avoid the Sunday rush.
  • Wednesdays and Thursdays are the cheapest day to fly internationally.
  • Book one to three months in advance.
  • Set a price alert.
3 Jun 2022

Which day of the week is cheapest to book flights? ›

If you want the cheapest fares, book your trip as soon as possible. The best time of day to book flights is at 3 p.m., according to Skyscanner. Saturday also happens to be the best day of the week to buy tickets, followed by Wednesday and Sunday, with cheaper prices on these days as opposed to others.

How many days before a flight is the best price? ›

The best time to book an airline flight is the prime booking window, which is 21 to 115 days in advance. Airfares generally average 5% of their lowest prices during this period.

How far in advance should I book a flight 2022? ›

♦ When to book: 27 to 45 days before your trip

For domestic travel, book your flight about 27 days before your trip. For international flights, book at least 45 days ahead.

What time of day is it cheapest to buy flights? ›

According to Skyscanner's research, the best time to book on any given day is around 5 a.m. So, it's true that the early bird gets the worm. Or, the flight deal, that is. In addition, whether you want to save on domestic or international flights, you should also fire up your laptop on Sunday.

What time do flight prices drop on Tuesday? ›

Tuesday Around Midnight is the Cheapest Time to Book

We found that travelers who search for flights on Tuesday at midnight save about 6% on their flights, making this the cheapest time of the week to book. In general, flights were slightly cheaper at midnight earlier in the week (Monday through Wednesday).

What is the cheapest month to fly in 2022? ›

Cheapest Days to Fly 2022: Winter
  • Cheapest fares: January 7 to February 28.
  • Cheapest single travel day: January 21.
  • Best days of the week to fly: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, followed by Thursdays.
  • Days to avoid: Prices are higher February 14-17 due to Valentine's Day and President's Day weekends.
13 Dec 2021

How do you find the cheapest airfare? ›

How to Find Cheap Flights in 2022: The Ultimate Guide
  1. Pick your destination and dates based on price.
  2. Use the best flight search sites.
  3. Find the cheapest place to fly with the Google Flights Explore Map.
  4. Be flexible—even by a few days—to save more.
  5. Travel on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday.
9 Mar 2022

Can a travel agent get cheaper flights? ›

Generally not, and especially not for short distances. For the most part, any discount you'd get from using a travel agent would be for a combined package. Still, it never hurts to ask if your travel agent can get you a deal on your flight.

Is it better to book flights early or late? ›

Booking a flight too late can cause the price to double, triple, even quadruple what early bookers paid. But when it comes to airline ticket pricing, the cost of booking too early can sometimes be as high as booking too late. There's a sweet spot travelers should hit when shopping for their plane tickets.

Are flights cheaper in the morning? ›

Yes, morning flights can be cheaper. Because they are flown at off-peak times, airlines sell morning flights at a cheaper rate as an incentive for customers to choose morning flights over flights at other times of the day.

What airline is the cheapest? ›

Top 10 Cheapest Airlines
RankAirlineCost per Mile
1.Spirit Airlines$0.209
2.Frontier Airlines$0.225
3.Hawaiian Airlines$0.257
4. (T)Allegiant Air$0.322
6 more rows
16 Jun 2021

Do flights go up the more you search? ›

Airlines are not tracking your searches.

Neither is Google Flights – the best search platform for finding good deals on airfare – or most other search engines and online travel agencies (OTAs) like Expedia, Hopper and Priceline. Your flight searches aren't being affected by your previous searches.

Do flight prices go down on Tuesday? ›

Yes, the flight fares usually begin plummeting on Mondays and Tuesdays. Hence, the chances of getting cheap fares get automatically higher. Also, you can find cheaper fares on Wednesdays and Thursdays than Tuesdays for certain destinations.

How often do flight prices change in a day? ›

The airlines update fare information 3 times a day. They do not necessarily change airfare prices all three times, but they certainly can, and often do.

Do flight prices get cheaper closer to the date? ›

Buy tickets a certain number of days in advance

Airlines start releasing tickets almost a year before the flight, but prices are higher when first released and tend to get cheaper as the day of travel approaches. This is why buying a ticket too far in advance doesn't help you save money.

What is the cheapest month to fly? ›

If you can be flexible with which month you fly in, January is the cheapest of the year for domestic flights (it's 10% cheaper than June). Surprisingly, August is cheapest for international flights these days (20% cheaper than December).

Why are flights so expensive in April 2022? ›

Jet fuel prices double in 2022

The price per gallon reached more than $4 in April, nearly twice as much as prices in late 2021. In past summers, prices floated around $2 between June and August. June to Aug. Fuel and salaries are two of the biggest expenses for airlines.

Are flights cheaper on Sundays or Mondays? ›

They say, “What day of week you purchase a flight has a negligible effect on flight cost. The average low fare only varies by $1 based on the purchase day of week. Whether you buy that ticket on Tuesday or Sunday it's going to cost about the same.”

What time do flight prices drop on Wednesday? ›

Early morning flights during the week (Monday through Wednesday) are typically cheaper as well. Q: Do airline prices change at midnight? Ans: There is typically a drop in flight prices during the midnight hours, with Thursdays often being a good time to make reservations for both domestic and international travel.

Why do flight prices change the more you search? ›

“What people see when they shop multiple times and prices are changing is a reflection of inventory changes, data caching techniques and the fact that prices generally get more expensive closer to departure date, even within a day.”

Why do flight prices change so much? ›

Why do flight prices fluctuate? Flight prices are primarily affected by demand, much like the stock market. When there is less demand for a flight, prices tend to be lower and will rise once demand increases. Thanks to sophisticated tech, airlines have the capability to change their flight prices dynamically.

Is it cheaper to fly one way or round-trip? ›

When traveling within the U.S., airlines typically price one-way flights at exactly half the cost of a round-trip. There certainly are exceptions, especially for those that fly out of smaller, regional airports.

What is the most expensive day to fly? ›

If you want to score cheap flights, make sure to avoid traveling during these days.
12/21/19$588Saturday of holiday weekend
12/26/19$557Thursday after holidays
12/17/19$553Tuesday before holidays
5/27/19$549Monday of MDW
7/1/19$549Monday before July 4th
6 more rows
27 Jun 2022

Will airline prices go up or down in 2022? ›

Hopper released a report earlier in 2022 predicting that fares would decrease by the end of July—and, according to CNBC, the average cost of domestic roundtrip flights dropped from $413 in May down to $375 by July 14. In August, the average round-trip fare is predicted to drop to $286.

Is it cheaper to wait last minute to book a flight? ›

Conclusion on Last-Minute Flights

Here's what you have to remember: Last-minute flights aren't cheaper: on the contrary, they tend to get more expensive the closer to the departure date. If you have no choice but to book at the last minute, use tools like Skyscanner's “everywhere search” or lastminute.com.

How do I find cheap flights on Google Maps? ›

Google doesn't heavily promote Google Flights Explore, but it's easy to find. Simply navigate to the Google Flights homepage at google.com/flights, enter your departure airport, but leave your destination blank. Otherwise, just head to flights.google.com/explore to pull it up straight away.

What luggage can I bring on a plane? ›

Carry-on bags must weigh less than 35 pounds and must not exceed 10 inches deep, 16 inches wide and 24 inches high. Bags must fit in the overhead bins. Checked bags must be no longer than 62 linear inches (length + width + depth) and must weigh under 40 pounds.

Is it cheaper to book online or through a travel agent? ›

Purchasing through a travel agent is frequently less expensive than booking online because they have access to unlimited discounts. Travel agents have access to hidden airline rates and can easily advise you if a ticket price you discovered online is fair.

Is it better to book flights directly with airline or travel agent? ›

When it comes down to it, booking directly through the airline is almost always more convenient. If the price changes after you buy your ticket, many airlines will get you the difference back. Southwest, for example, refunds the difference directly to you or applies it as credit towards future airfare.

Is it cheaper to book flights online or with a travel agent? ›

It's more expensive to book flights with a travel agent than to book online from home. That's because travel agents typically charge for their services, even booking a flight on your behalf. Still, an agent's services could be worthwhile for some travelers hoping to avoid stressful vacation planning.

How far out is the best time to book a flight? ›

The best time to book a flight is between 127 and 24 days out, with prices bottoming out around 76 days before departure. To capture the best rate, consider setting a price alert with Google or Kayak around that 127 day mark, and keep an eye on them through the last month before departure.

Is 6 months too early to book a flight? ›

According to Travel & Leisure, Kayak compiled one year of flight data and discovered the following: “Six months before departure, domestic ticket prices were about 20 percent higher than the lowest fares. They started dropping three months out and hit a low to seven weeks before departure.”

Will airfares go down in 2023? ›

Recent estimates point to air fares rising over 8% in 2023. And while that may not seem like an alarmingly large increase, given that travel has already gotten expensive, it could put a lot of people in a tough spot next year.

Do plane tickets get cheaper at midnight? ›

It is always a good idea to book a flight at midnight. Yes, during midnight the prices of the flight go down. A trend is that Thursday Midnights are usually a great time for making your reservations for both domestic and international flights.

What is an early morning flight called? ›

Red eye flights are flights that depart late at night and arrive early in the morning the next day.

Is Saturday a bad day to book flights? ›

While there is no best day to book flights, there are better days of the week to fly. Generally, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days of the week to fly. Saturday is usually the cheapest weekend day to fly. Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays are generally the most expensive days to fly.

Who is the best airline in the world 2022? ›

Here are the top ten airlines right now, according to the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022.
  • Qatar Airlines.
  • Singapore Airlines.
  • Emirates.
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA)
  • Qantas Airways.
  • Japan Airlines.
  • Turkish Airlines.
  • Air France.
26 Sept 2022

Where is the cheapest to fly right now? ›

20 Cheapest Places to Fly Around the World
  • The Cheapest Places to Fly Right Now.
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • San Francisco Bay Area, California.
  • Costa Rica.
  • The Virgin Islands.
  • Key West, Florida.
12 Oct 2022

Which airline is expensive? ›

Etihad Airways has been declared as one of the most lavish and expensive airlines in the world. Thanks to the lavish suite of its airline “The Residence” you can see this airline as a hotel. Etihad also takes care of a private lounge, check-in, and private transport from and to the airport.

What is the best day of the week to book a flight? ›

There is no single day of the week that is best to book a flight. You can find deals any day of the week since flight prices fluctuate with demand.

What day do airlines change their prices? ›

When do flight prices drop during the week? According to our data: Tuesday. It seems most airlines launch their discounts on Monday nights, so you can pick up the best prices on Tuesday mornings. Typically, you'll save somewhere between 15 and 25 percent.

Is it safe to book flights through Google? ›

Google acts only as an intermediary to securely pass your information to the airline or travel agency and isn't a party to the transaction. If you're logged in to your Google Account, you can complete the booking quickly and securely using contact and payment info stored in your account.

What time do flight prices drop on Tuesday? ›

Tuesday Around Midnight is the Cheapest Time to Book

We found that travelers who search for flights on Tuesday at midnight save about 6% on their flights, making this the cheapest time of the week to book. In general, flights were slightly cheaper at midnight earlier in the week (Monday through Wednesday).

What time of day is it cheapest to buy flights? ›

According to Skyscanner's research, the best time to book on any given day is around 5 a.m. So, it's true that the early bird gets the worm. Or, the flight deal, that is. In addition, whether you want to save on domestic or international flights, you should also fire up your laptop on Sunday.

What is the cheapest month to fly in 2022? ›

Cheapest Days to Fly 2022: Winter
  • Cheapest fares: January 7 to February 28.
  • Cheapest single travel day: January 21.
  • Best days of the week to fly: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, followed by Thursdays.
  • Days to avoid: Prices are higher February 14-17 due to Valentine's Day and President's Day weekends.
13 Dec 2021

Do flight prices change throughout the day? ›

Not only do airfares change often over the life of the fare, it can also change during the day. Factors that can impact these mid-day changes include flight demand, flight availability and external factors like COVID-19 virus and even geopolitics.

What time do flight prices drop on Wednesday? ›

Early morning flights during the week (Monday through Wednesday) are typically cheaper as well. Q: Do airline prices change at midnight? Ans: There is typically a drop in flight prices during the midnight hours, with Thursdays often being a good time to make reservations for both domestic and international travel.

How do I get cheap flights? ›

How to Find Cheap Flights in 2022: The Ultimate Guide
  1. Pick your destination and dates based on price.
  2. Use the best flight search sites.
  3. Find the cheapest place to fly with the Google Flights Explore Map.
  4. Be flexible—even by a few days—to save more.
  5. Travel on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday.
9 Mar 2022

Do flight prices go down closer to departure date? ›

Usually, no. The closer to the departure date, the more expensive the price. More seats tend to fill the closer to the departure date. As more tickets sell for any given flight, the demand increases creating a jump in ticket prices.

Do flights go up the more you search? ›

Airlines are not tracking your searches.

Neither is Google Flights – the best search platform for finding good deals on airfare – or most other search engines and online travel agencies (OTAs) like Expedia, Hopper and Priceline. Your flight searches aren't being affected by your previous searches.

Is it cheaper to book flights in the morning? ›

Based on Kayak search data for departures between April and December 2022, flights between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. are about 15% cheaper on average than other times throughout the day.

Is it cheaper to book last minute flights? ›

Is it cheaper to book a flight at the last minute? We've said this before, but it's worth repeating at the outset—no, it's really not cheaper to book a flight at the last minute. Yes, last minute travelers used to score the occasional fare so low it might have induced shock, but that's no longer the case.

What airline is the cheapest? ›

Top 10 Cheapest Airlines
RankAirlineCost per Mile
1.Spirit Airlines$0.209
2.Frontier Airlines$0.225
3.Hawaiian Airlines$0.257
4. (T)Allegiant Air$0.322
6 more rows
16 Jun 2021

Is it cheaper to fly one way or round-trip? ›

When traveling within the U.S., airlines typically price one-way flights at exactly half the cost of a round-trip. There certainly are exceptions, especially for those that fly out of smaller, regional airports.

What is the most expensive day to fly? ›

If you want to score cheap flights, make sure to avoid traveling during these days.
12/21/19$588Saturday of holiday weekend
12/26/19$557Thursday after holidays
12/17/19$553Tuesday before holidays
5/27/19$549Monday of MDW
7/1/19$549Monday before July 4th
6 more rows
27 Jun 2022

Are air tickets cheaper on Tuesdays? ›

But it's not about when you buy airline tickets: It's more about when you actually get on the plane. That means flying on off-peak days: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are often much cheaper days to fly. Shifting your departure and return dates by just a day or two can save you hundreds of dollars.

How do I get notified when my flight prices drop? ›

When the price for a flight or route you're tracking changes significantly, you can get email updates.
  1. Go to Google Flights.
  2. At the top, choose the number of stops, cabin class, and how many tickets you need.
  3. Choose your departure airport and destination.
  4. To track prices for this route, turn on Track prices.

Are airline prices going up or down? ›

Despite the drop in fuel prices, however, airfares are on the rise because demand for air travel is surging. Many industry experts describe it as “revenge travel” because Americans are trying to make up for the travel they missed during the pandemic lockdowns.

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