The ‘cheapest time' to book flight is a myth?

A brutal combination of soaring gas prices, inflation and travel disruptions have many, including the team at Google Flights, looking for the best way to book a cheap flight.

Just as the price of airfare has gone up – after an 8% drop in July, it was still 30% higher than in 2021 – so has the volume of Google searches for “cheapest airline tickets.” 

Google Flights decided to dig into five years’ worth of data to find any reliable patterns that might help travelers find the cheapest way to fly.

The results may disappoint some who have sworn by a certain day or time believed to be the cheapest for booking.

Five years of price data showed that Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays wound up being only 1.9% cheaper on average than booking on a weekend day.

Focusing on the departure day, not the day you buy the ticket, will save you the most money. Flights leaving on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays were 12% cheaper than weekend departures - a number that jumps to 20% when excluding international destinations.

Another money-saving pattern the data revealed was the number of days in advance one should book to get the best price: 21-60 days out for domestic, with an average low price of 44 days.

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