There are many ways to save money on flights.
But booking airfares on a specific day of the week is not one of them, according to data from Google Flights.
Booking midweek – and especially around midnight on Tuesdays – is often cited as the best time to buy flights. But over the past five years, U.S. airfares bought on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays were, on average, just 1.9% cheaper than airfares bought over the weekend, according to Google Flights.
“If your trip is just a few weeks away, don’t wait until Tuesday – book your flight now in case the price goes up,” James Byers, Google Flights Group Product Manager, wrote in a published blog post yesterday.
Strategies that work
While the day of the week travelers book doesn’t matter much, the day they fly does, according to research from Google Flights examining five years of historical flight data from August 1, 2017 to August 1, 2022 Has.
“On average, flights departing on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday were 12% cheaper than departing on the weekend,” Byers wrote. “If you exclude international destinations, the savings potential increases to 20%.”
Travelers looking to save money should avoid flying on Sundays, according to Google Flights.
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Another common strategy — early booking — also works, according to the data. For domestic flights to the US, airfares were lowest between three and eight weeks before departure, with prices bottoming out 44 days in advance, according to the study.
On average, non-stop flights cost about 20% more than connecting flights, according to Google Flights, but flights with stopovers also increase the risk of disruptions.
An Instagram poll 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% said they spent between $500 and $1,000 having spent US dollars.
More savings opportunities
Travelers with flexible flight days can use Google Flights’ “date grid” feature to quickly find the cheapest departure and arrival dates in a given week.
If you want to travel for a certain period of time – let’s say two weeks – but are flexible in terms of time, you can also use the “Price Graph” function to see the cheapest flight times.
Price tracking also eliminates the need to keep searching to price-check a desired route. Find the route once, click the Track Fares button and Google Flights will email you notifications of fare changes.
‘Best times’ to book
Based on its historical data, Google Flights also suggests the “best times” to book flights for peak travel and popular routes.
Travelers looking to save money on flights to Europe are advised to plan as early as possible, while summer vacationers can plan weeks in advance instead of months.