Summer Tips On Flying

What Day Of The Week Is Best To Fly On?

In this article we are going to talk about summer flying and what’s the best days to do so. During the summer months, vacation planning often includes a Sunday return to ensure the most time off (Saturdays and Sundays are the traditional weekend days for most work schedules). You’d better believe that the airlines know this and generally increase the cost of flights on those days. Not to mention, many business travelers travel on Sunday to reach their destination by Monday morning. For your summer trip, consider flying back on Saturday instead and you’ll save money.

graph for travelers

This graph was borrowed from CheapAir.com.  According to them a much more economical plan is to fly midweek. On average, summer flight data indicates that flying on a Wednesday is $74 cheaper than flying on a Sunday. That may not seem significant until you start examining the typical family vacation. A family of four will save nearly $300 on average for their summer vacation flights just by traveling on a Tuesday or Wednesday. That’s the cost of a couple hotel rooms, or a fancy dinner for four! Seems to be a no-brainer when you can swing a midweek departure and return. The money you save might be the difference between taking a vacation this summer and thinking you can’t afford it!

When Should I Buy My Tickets?

Flying during the Summer months and on Holidays requires a little more strategy then the other times of the year. More people are flying and the airlines also know this. The general pattern is that from the time a flight opens for sale, fares will drop slowly but steadily until reaching a low point somewhere between 27 days and 114 days out. That three month window, which is essentially between one and four months in advance, is what is called the “prime booking window”. Much more often than not, the best fare for a domestic trip will be offered at some point during that window.

If you don’t book within this window, it is generally better to book too early than too late. Those booking more than 114 days out paid an average of $32 more for their flight in 2014; those booking inside 27 days paid an average of $47 more (and a lot more than that if within 14 days).

For Summer and Holiday travel the rules are different. For summer travel last year, the best time to book was 76 days in advance on average – almost a month earlier than the rest of the year. And the danger in booking too early was much less pronounced. Fares booked 320 days in advance were, on average, only $8 more than their low point. More than ever before, air travel has become a seller’s market, especially in the peak seasons, and the airlines don’t have to be as aggressive as they used to in order to fill all their seats. This means that the deals you see early on for peak season flights are increasingly likely to be among the best deals that will be offered.

Additional Tips on Finding The Best AirFares

Here is some general advice on how to go about your airfare search:

– Since it’s impossible to know exactly the best day to buy an airline ticket, the best strategy is to check fares early and often. For travel during the summer or holidays, start your research as soon as you can. For other travel dates, try to check frequently in the one to four month lead-up to your travel dates. By checking often enough, you are likely to see both the ups and the downs as fares fluctuate– and you’ll be able to tell the difference and recognize a good deal.

– Aim for a good deal, not the best deal. With 70 different fare changes on average for each trip, you have to get very lucky to book your flight at their absolute rock bottom. So don’t get too caught up in trying to squeeze a few extra dollars off your ticket price. When you see a good deal, grab it since any good fare is much more likely to go up than down.

– Consider booking much earlier than the 47 days in advance if: (1) you are traveling for a holiday; (2) you are traveling during the summer; (3) you are traveling with a family or large party (three or more travelers); (4) or, you are particular about your airline, number of stops, travel times, or seat assignments and you see only a few flights offered that you’d be happy with.

– Avoid booking too early (before four months) if all of these are true: (1) you are not traveling during the summer or for a holiday; (2) you are traveling by yourself; (3) and, you’re flexible on the airline and flight times.

The Timing Just Got Easier With CheapAir’s Price Drop, Payback

Airlines are constantly raising and lowering air fares, a regular cause of confusion and frustration. For example, it’s usually good practice to buy early, but there are times when doing so will come back to haunt you when the fare actually drops after your purchase. So, how are you really supposed to know when to buy?

Price Dropping

At CheapAir.com they want their customers to know they are getting the absolute best fare they possibly can. They can’t stop airlines from constantly changing their fares in order to maximize “yield,” but they can help you to breathe a little easier with their recently launched free Price Drop Payback program, now in effect for the remainder of the year.

It’s as simple as this: if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, they’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! They are proud to be the only U.S. travel site who offers this unique buyer protection and they hope this program will arm you with buying confidence.

To take advantage of Price Drop Payback, any time after your purchase go to the My Trips section of their web site to retrieve your itinerary. From there, with one click you can check to see if your fare has gone down. If it has, they’ll issue you a travel credit immediately. You can check your fare every week, every day, or as often as you want. It’s fast and easy and free.

Cheap Air is almost like your own personal travel agent as they can not only help you find cheap flights, they can also help you find cheap motels, rental cars, and even cruises. Why not check out their prices for your next flight.


28 thoughts on “Summer Tips On Flying”

  1. Thank you so much, Chad. I look forward to seeing you again and I do hope my site will be helpful for you and allow you to travel more often.

  2. Thank you, Stephanie. Your reasons are exactly why I created this sit. I love to travel and see new places, so I am always looking for affordable ways to do so. I hope you visit often, as I am always trying to add new information as I run across it.

  3. Hey Rita,
    Thanks for a great post. It is really detailed and full of information. I don’t get the chance to do much traveling but when and if i do i will definitely be coming back here to get the info.

  4. Hi Rita:

    Your website is a great place to visit and plan a wonderful vacation. With so many options for vacation planning and financial situations being what they are today, it is nice to have this resource to help families who are tight on money still create wonderful memories for their growing children.

    Thank you for developing this incredible travel website.

    Stephanie

  5. Hey there

    Great site…I am planning on visiting my home town this summer and its a 16 hour car drive 🙁 naturally I am prone to looking for faster affordable ways.)

    Great tips here and I will definitely be coming back for more on trip advice…thanks :)!!!

  6. Thank you, Sean, for visiting my site. I am glad you found it helpful and hope you will return to learn some more tips for traveling more economical.

  7. Hi Lureita,

    Great data to check out here! I must confess, I’m pretty bad at booking flights usually – I tend to leave things a bit late, so reading about the booking window was especially helpful 🙂

    I live in the southern hemisphere, so it’s winter here at the moment, and I just got back from a trip to my folks in Cape Town.

    Even off-season it was pretty interesting to see how much the flights increased in price the nearer I got to the departure date, even though I usually try to fly on a week day.

    Thanks for a timely reminder to consider bookings ahead of time!

    Take care,
    Sean

  8. Daisy,

    My advice is to check it both ways. It is true that sometimes you can get a better rate directly through the airlines. I have found that it is best to get a quote from my online sites first, then get a quote from the airlines. then I make my decision.

  9. This is really great information about booking flights. I find it very confusing to try to research flying prices, so your tips are very helpful.

    I have always been wondering if booking a flight through a travel agency is more likely to cost less than booking directly with the airline. Which would be better? Is CheapAir a travel agency?

  10. This is very good to know! Saving on traveling is a must nowadays. I heard from a radio station here (in PR) about the subject, and they said that sometimes you save s when you book your flight separately, instead of in one big package. Is this true?

  11. Hello this is a great post it was very informative and very helpful went over, to the link you provided cheap air website works like a charm thank you.

  12. It’s nice to have these tips to some some money. Some of the tips I already new like booking in advance, but i didn’t know it worked better for summer holidays. I have some bookings to make for the family and I will follow your tips. Hope I can save a bit of money. 🙂

  13. I think Cheap Air actually mentioned that they offered flights on some of the smaller carriers when I read their article that they now were even offering flights to Cuba, but it was on some of the smaller flights and with companies that were lesser known in flight services. It’s worth taking a look, but I will also see if I can find something else for you to look at.

  14. Jolie, I think that’s a good thing also. It makes you feel a little better when you are watching for the best prices and then cross your fingers and hope you made the right decision, but you know that Cheap Air is going to bail you out if the prices go lower. It’s like having Insurance for free.

  15. I am planning a trip for Labor Day. I am curious about how mid-week fares run when a holiday comes on a Monday like Labor Day does. It will be interesting to find out! Thanks for the article, the resources you have posted will be very helpful!

  16. Thank you for this info. Recently I was looking into traveling for my anniversary but I could not believe the flight times and costs.

    Do you know of any websites that offer flight’s from smaller carriers? I was told the smaller carriers have less stopping and can also offer good prices but all the websites I know of only show major flight services.

  17. I always used to book mid-week flights when I was working away from home, sometimes it was nearly half the price of a weekend flight! Sometimes it does work out better to just take a few extra days off work and extend the holiday a little. That’s a pretty cool feature from CheapAir though, nice to see that they allow customers to get the cheapest rates even if it’s not on sale at the time you book.

  18. Thank you for the great tips. It seems impossible sometimes to figure out when the best time is to look for flight deals. It seems like the stock market!

  19. Hi there
    really great tips about flying and traveling! I had noticed in the past that booking flights mid-week was cheaper. I tend to travel once or twice a year back east to see family and I would typically leave on a Tuesday or Wednesday and come back on a Sunday or Monday. Good to know that Sunday is better!

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