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Are flights cheaper on Tuesdays? Travel experts’ tips for airfare deals

Is there really a “best” day to book a flight?
There’s long been a myth that Tuesdays are the day to book airfare if you want the lowest price and that prices surge on weekends — but that’s not necessarily true, according to experts.
Google published an analysis in 2022 found that when shopping for flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays rather than Saturdays or Sundays, prices are only 1.9% cheaper on average. A Google Flights spokesperson told USA TODAY that this holds true as of June 2024.
According to both Hopper and Google Flights, there’s no point in waiting for any specific day to book a flight since the difference in cost is only marginal.
3 According to both Hopper and Google Flights, there’s no point in waiting for any specific day to book a flight. Getty Images/iStockphoto
“We tested this out and looked at the best day of the week to book for a number of popular trips and Tuesday was the cheapest day just 1% of the time,” Hayley Berg, Hopper’s lead economist, told USA TODAY. “The best price might be available on Tuesday – but it might be available on another day of the week.”
Meanwhile, Expedia’s 2024 Air Travel Hacks report published in September 2023 had a surprisingly different take: “Sunday remains the cheapest day of the week to book flights, while Fridays are most expensive. On average, travelers saved up to 13%.”
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), flights from major airports in the U.S. cost 29% more on average this year than they did in 2021, so any savings on airfare could make a huge difference.
And there are plenty of other factors other than the day of the week you book your flight that impact the price point more.
3 According to the BTS, flights from major airports in the U.S. cost 29% more on average this year than they did in 2021. REDPIXEL – stock.adobe.com
“While everyone wants a golden rule for the best day of the week to book a flight – the reality is that the best day, and time, to book a flight depends on a number of factors,” Berg shared.
One of Berg’s top tips is to book in advance and don’t wait until the last minute.
Using tools such as Hopper or Capital One Travel can help people monitor flight prices in an easy and effective way. Berg recommends trying to book domestic flights one to three months prior to the departure date, and international flights between four and five months before departure.
3 The day you fly out is more important than the day you book your flight. stockphoto-graf – stock.adobe.com
“Don’t leave booking too late; prices can increase by hundreds in the final weeks before departure,” she said.
Expedia’s report reflected similar findings, noting that those who purchase airfare for domestic flights 28 days in advance pay on average 24% less than last-minute bookings.
However, the day you fly out is more important than the day you book your flight.
Choosing a flight that departs in the middle of the week rather than the weekend can help travelers get cheap airfare — saving people on average 18% on domestic summer airfare, Hopper found.
Mid-week savings are even more for international fare, with people deciding to fly to Europe this summer on a Tuesday or Wednesday saving $435 per ticket, according to Hopper.
Google Flights found similar data, with flights departing on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday being on average 12% cheaper than flights on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
So book your flights whenever you want, but you might want to opt for a mid-week departure.

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