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What is the best time to book a flight?

Even the experts disagree, but here’s what we found out about the best day and time to book cheap(er) airfare.

7 April 2022
What is the best time to book a flight?

If you ask any experienced traveler, “When is the best time to book a flight?” you’ll probably hear Tuesday night. But is it true?

Well, it depends on who you ask and what kind of ticket you want to buy.

After two years of pandemic, travelers just want to get off the ground already. Unfortunately, the long-awaited easing of COVID restrictions is coinciding with a jump in jet-fuel prices. Plus, higher demand for trips means airline ticket prices are going up. 

According to recent data compiled by booking site Hopper:

  • Domestic airfare is expected to rise as much as 7% each month through June.
  • International airfare is expected to rise an average of 5% each month.

Here’s everything our research found about the best day and time for booking cheap(er) airfare.

Best day of the week to buy airline tickets

This is where travel experts disagree.

Expedia’s annual travel report says the ideal day to book a flight is Sunday. According to their data, that’s when travelers can save around 5% on domestic flights and nearly 10% on international flights.

Alternatively, travel expert Peter Greenberg says the best day of the week is Wednesday specifically at 1 am but only if you call the airline, not book online. 

According to Peter Greenberg, low airfares appear between Sunday night and Monday night and people have 24 hours in which to buy them. At midnight on Tuesday, all the non purchased discounted fares pop back into the booking systems and that’s your sweet spot. 

Best time of day to book a flight

Greenberg’s advice gets further refined when you learn what time of day is best for booking cheap airfares.

According to Greenberg the best time is 1 am. Very specifically, the best time of day every Wednesday is 1 am in the timezone of the airline’s hub.

That means you need to research the airline’s hub location (or click that link to see the list of timezones and phone numbers), so you know what time to set your alarm.

Alternatively, you decide

Finally, websites dedicated to finding and sharing cheap flights, like Thrifty Traveler, say the best day and time to book a flight is whenever you find a good deal.

According to them, it’s a myth that you can get a better deal by staying up late on a Tuesday night.

More airfare booking hacks

According to Expedia’s annual travel report, the optimal windows for the best airfare are:

  • Between 28-35 days for domestic flights
  • Between 3 and 4 months for international flights

And the best months to travel are:

  • January for domestic flights
  • August for international flights

According to the Vacationer, there are better (cheaper) days of the week to fly. In general, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are considered the cheapest. Saturdays clock in as the cheapest weekend day to fly.

Hands down, everyone said the best website to use to find your own flight deals is Google Flights. 

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Damian Tysdal
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DamianTysdal

Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and he believes travel insurance should be easier to understand. He started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.

Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and he believes travel insurance should be easier to understand. He started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.