Best Days & Times to Book Flights & Airline Tickets in 2024
Contrary to popular belief, there is no best day to finding cheap flight deals. While many myths say Tuesday or Wednesday mornings are the best days, there is no evidence to support such claims. The good news is you can find cheap flight prices any day of the week. Read on to see where this myth may have originated plus other tips on scoring the best flight deals.
Before starting, consider signing up for free alerts or a membership with Going.com (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights). This helpful service sends emails with heavily discounted flight deals, and I highly recommend it.
Table of Contents
The Best Days To Book Flights are Not Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Previously, airlines manually inputed new flight prices. That meant prices were actually cheaper after new prices were uploaded. That lead to the myth that Tuesday or Wednesday mornings were the best days to book. While you can find a great deal on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning, there is nothing special about those times.
Today, airline prices are decided in realtime by complex algorithms. That means great prices are available every day of the week and at every time. In other words, you no longer have to wake up at the crack of dawn on Tuesday or Wednesday to search for flights.
The Best Time to Book Flights is Not Very Early in the Morning
The Tuesday and Wednesday myth also claims you must search very early in the morning. While great prices may exist at 4am or 5am, there is no truth to those times being special. Search for flights when you have time as opposed to sticking to a rigid schedule. That ensures you will not miss a great deal since a Friday night or Saturday afternoon may actually offer the best price for your flight.
The Best Days to Book Holiday Flights (Thanksgiving and Christmas)
The same rules apply to Thanksgiving and Christmas flights. While it may be harder to find great deals on holiday flights, it is possible. Search as far in advance as possible. You should book as soon as you find a price that is within your budget because there are only a limited number of holiday flights available. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are not special, so do not give those days any extra attention.
Read our complete guide on The Best and Worst Days to Fly for the Holidays more information. Additionally, our When to Book Thanksgiving Flights guide and When to Book Christmas Flights guide goes into further detail.
The Best Days of the Week to Fly
While there is no best day to book flights, there are better days of the week to fly. Generally, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days of the week to fly. Saturday is usually the cheapest weekend day to fly.
Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays are generally the most expensive days to fly. While business travel is still slow due to Covid-19, Mondays and Fridays are popular days for such travelers. Sundays are popular because that is the day many personal travelers fly home after their vacation.
If possible, schedule your trip to fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays for the best prices.
The Best Websites to Book Cheap Flights
While many tools and websites exist to book cheap flights, some are better than others. Here are our picks. Also see our Worst Seats on a Plane guide and our Best Seats on a Plane guide to know which seats to avoid and how to avoid them.
We recommend starting and ending your flight search with Google Flights. It offers powerful filtering options and shows prices from just about every airline. It is an aggregator, so you book your flight directly with the airline as opposed to with Google. Its price alerts feature allows you to track prices for a particular date so you know exactly when to book. Its calendar view allows you to see the cheapest days for your flight, so you can quickly see fare differences for entire months.
See our complete guides on Using Google Flights to Find Cheap Flight Deals and Google Flights Now Shows When The Best Time is to Book Flights
Directly With The Airline
You can also search for prices directly on the airline’s website. This is especially important when booking Southwest Airlines flights since it does not appear on Google Flights and other aggregators. For other airlines, we recommend just using Google Flights since it shows the lowest prices from a variety of airlines at once.
Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)
Popular OTAs include Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz. With an OTA, you book directly with the OTA as opposed to the airline. In some cases, OTAs may offer cheaper flight prices, but there are drawbacks. If you need to change or cancel your flight, you must contact the OTA instead of the airline. While major OTAs usually have good customer service, they are essentially a middleman between you and the airline. Additionally, OTAs may prevent you from taking advantage of the 24-Hour Cancellation Rule.
Popular flight aggregators include Google Flights (see our full Google Flights guide), Skyscanner (see our full Skyscanner guide), and Kayak (see our full Kayak guide). Aggregators show flight prices from airlines and/or OTAs. With aggregators, you do not book directly on the aggregator’s website. Instead, you will book with the airline directly or with the OTA.
Take Advantage of The 24-Hour Cancellation Rule
We recommend immediately booking a cheap flight when you see it. Prices change regularly, so the great price you find may not last long. That means do not wait until Tuesday or Wednesday if you find a great deal on a Saturday. Remember, there is no best day to book flights, and the best price may be available when you least expect it.
The 24-hour flight cancellation rule allows you to book with confidence. This rule allows you to cancel non-refundable flights within 24 hours of booking that are arriving to or departing from a United States airport. The flight must be booked seven or more days before departure.
There is no best day to book cheap flights. Common myths claim Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to book flights, but there is no truth to such claims. Buy your airline tickets when you see a price that works for you.
There is nothing special about booking flights on Tuesday mornings. While Tuesday may have cheap flight prices, it is not more likely to have the best deals than other days.
The same rule applies to holiday flights. There is no best day to book Thanksgiving and Christmas flights. Great deals are available every day of the week.
There is no best time to book flights. You can find low prices any hour of the day, so do not limit yourself to a specific time.
Generally, the best days of the week to fly are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
Great flight prices are available every day of the week, so do not focus on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. You should also book a cheap flight right when you see it. The 24-hour cancellation rule allows you 24 hours to cancel it, so you will not be locked in. As always, start your flight search with Google Flights. Consider using an airline credit card to get the best price on airfare as well as seat upgrades and other benefits. After booking, read our how to get through TSA airport security faster guide. For specific summer information, see our how to find cheap summer flights guide.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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