This Is The Cheapest Day Of The Week To Book A Flight According To New Data

Hint: Don’t book on a Friday.

When it comes to booking airfare, there’s no Magic 8 ball that travelers can peer into that will reveal the best date and time to fly. Although that would be nice wouldn’t it?

However, there is data and research that can help travelers make more informed decisions says Expedia, who’s new 2023 Air Travel Hacks Report was released today and includes need-to-know travel hacks from the cheapest day of the week to book a flight to the best time of day to book to avoid flight delays and cancellations and how far out you should be booking domestic versus international flights.

“This report and Expedia’s new Price Tracking and Predictions feature on the app do more than save people money,” President of Expedia Brands Jon Gieselman said in a statement Wednesday. “It’s about the time savings and peace of mind that comes with knowing you have machine learning informing your booking decisions and a tool at your fingertips that does the work of price tracking for you.”

Expedia’s findings—now in its eight year running — was done in partnership with global air ticketing database Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) and leverages data and air travel trends from more than 15-billion passenger flights from 490 airlines and 230 countries and territories around the world, according to a press release.

Here are the top takeaways according to the 2023 Air Travel Hacks Report:

  • Book airfare on a Sunday to save up to 15%: Travelers who book on Sundays instead of Fridays tend to save, on average, around 5% on domestic flights and 15% on international flights.
  • Book at least a month before for domestic flights and six months before for international flights to save 10%: Travelers that booked in these periods saved 10% on average compared to those who waited until the last minute.
  • Depart before 3 p.m. to reduce the chance of cancellation: Based on year-to-date flight status data, flights that depart after 3 p.m.have a 50% higher chance, on average, of being delayed than those that depart earlier in the day.”
  • Depart on a Wednesday to save up to 15%: Avoid departing Saturday – Monday, which are the priciest days, on average, to start a trip.
  • Set up price alerts: Take the guess work out of deciding when to book with the Price Tracking and Prediction feature on the Expedia app, which uses exclusive data to pinpoint the best time to book and notifies travelers when flight prices change.
  • Travel off-peak: Data shows that avoiding the peak travel periods can have more benefits than just cost-savings. Historically, flight delays were shorter during March and April compared to the busy summer months, dropping by about 40 minutes. As summer wound down, delays began to shorten again, making fall an appealing time for air travel.

“While it has been a volatile recovery, our data indicates travel is beginning to normalize with travelers taking advantage of flying again,” Chuck Thackston, Managing Director of Data Science and Research at ARC said. “Airlines have improved their performance while both capacity and traveler demand continue to increase. We’re also starting to see business travelers return to the skies following the surge of leisure travel in the first half of 2022.”

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