Is There a Best Day to Book Your Flight? A New Study Weighs In
The day you book your flight may have less to do with saving money than you might think.
You can stop stressing about what day you're going to check flight prices next—that Tuesday night alarm won't really save you money.
According to the newest annual airfare study just released by CheapAir.com, which took into consideration data from almost one billion flight prices across more than 8,000 markets in the US, what really matters in terms of saving money is how far in advance you book your flights.
And the best deal isn't available as early as you'd think, usually. The study found that the optimal time to purchase domestic flights to save money in 2024 is 42 days before your departure (though it does point out that factors such as destination, budget, and travel date do play a role in that timeframe). Compared to last year, the new data advises to book flights 28 days earlier than its 2023 guidance.
While the day that you book your next flight doesn't have as much of an impact on prices as you might think it would, the day in which you fly does. The same study, in fact, found that Wednesday is the cheapest day to fly, and claimed that travelers save an average of $102 per ticket compared to tickets for Sunday flights, which is the most expensive day instead. And the time of year can also impact flight prices. As we've previously reported, January tends to be the cheapest month of the year to book a flight, followed closely by February.
"Securing affordable flights in a competitive travel landscape can be challenging, but careful planning and flexibility can make it possible," CheapAir.com CEO Jeff Klee said in a statement. "Booking in advance, considering alternative options, and monitoring prices can result in significant savings."
The morale of the story, though, remains the same—It's best if you book your travels early, but you should also keep in mind that sometimes waiting it out a little bit might save you some cash. In 2024, the cheapest booking window is approximately 2.5 months to three weeks before departure, which is a considerable difference from previous years (5.5 to 1.5 months before departure).
If you are looking for additional guidance on when to book your 2024 travel, we recently shared a guide to when flights booked around particular holidays will be cheapest this year.
Looking to save money on travel?
Here's our running list of all the cheap travel deals you can book right now, and you can head here for all the latest flight deals plus cheap things to do and savings on hotels, cruises, trains, and more to help you plan for your next trip.