The cheapest plane tickets? How to save money on flights and airfare

There are many ways to save money on flights.

But booking airfare on a certain day of the week isn’t one of them, according to data from Google Flights.

Book mid-week, and especially Tuesdays around midnight, is often cited as the best time to buy flights. But over the past five years, US airfares purchased on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday have been only 1.9% cheaper on average than airfares purchased over the weekend, according to Google Flights.

“If your trip is only a couple of weeks away, don’t wait for Tuesday – book your flight now in case the price goes up,” wrote James Byers, a product manager for the Google Flights group, in a blog post. Blog. yesterday.

strategies that work

While the day of the week travelers book may not matter much, the day they fly does, according to research from Google Flights, which examined five years of historical flight data from August 1, 2017 to on August 1, 2022.

“On average, flights departing on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday have been 12% cheaper than weekend departures,” Byers wrote. “If you exclude international destinations, the potential savings jump even further to 20%.”

Travelers looking to save money should avoid flying on Sundays, according to Google Flights.

westend61 | fake images

Another common strategy, booking ahead, also works, according to the data. For US domestic flights, airfares have been lowest three to eight weeks before departure, with prices “bottoming out” 44 days later, according to the research.

Nonstop flights cost about 20% more on average than connecting flights, according to Google Flights, but connecting flights also increase the risk of disruptions.

An Instagram survey by travel insurance company World Nomads found that more than 1 in 3 respondents spent up to $250 on flights, meals, or hotels due to flight delays or cancellations this summer, while 12% reported spending between $500 and $1000.

More ways to save

Travelers with flexible flight days can use Google Flights’ “date grid” feature to quickly determine the cheapest dates to depart and arrive in a given week.

Those who want to travel for a specific duration, say two weeks, but are flexible about when, can use the “price chart” feature to see the cheapest times to fly as well.

Price tracking also eliminates the need to search again and again to check the price of a desired route. Search the route once, press the button to “follow prices” and Google Flights will send you notifications of airfare changes by email.

‘Best times’ to book

Based on your historical data, Google Flights also suggests the “best times” to book flights for peak season travel and popular routes.

Travelers hoping to save money on airfare to Europe are advised to plan as early as possible, while vacationers may want to consider planning weeks, rather than months, in advance.

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