What is the best day to fly?

When it comes to booking flights, one of the most common questions travelers have is “What is the best day of the week to fly?” The answer actually depends on a variety of factors, including your budget, travel dates, destination, and preferences. Here’s a quick look at some of the key considerations when choosing the best day to fly:

Weekdays vs. Weekends

In general, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays tend to be the best days for cheaper airfare. This is because travel demand drops during the middle of the week, allowing airlines to offer lower fares to fill seats. Weekends, especially Fridays and Sundays, are often the most expensive days to fly because more people are traveling for getaways and there is increased demand.

Cheap Flight Days by Month

Airfare fluctuates throughout the year, with prices changing based on travel seasons and holidays. Here is a quick glance at some of the cheapest days to fly by month:

Month Cheapest Days to Fly
January First 2 weeks after New Year’s
February After President’s Day weekend
March 1st two weeks, excluding spring break
April After Easter weekend
May After Memorial Day weekend
June 1st two weeks, excluding summer holidays
July After July 4th weekend
August 1st two weeks, before Labor Day weekend
September After Labor Day weekend
October 1st two weeks, excluding Fall holidays
November After Thanksgiving weekend
December 1st two weeks, before Christmas

As you can see, the best cheap flight days often fall right after major holidays or busy travel periods. Prices then remain low in the first couple weeks of the following month before rising again closer to the next holiday or break.

Location, Location, Location

Your destination can also impact the cheapest days to fly. Here are some location-specific tips on finding deals:

  • Caribbean islands and beach destinations are often cheapest in the fall after summer crowds have left.
  • Ski resorts and cold weather locales offer better fares in late spring before snowbirds arrive.
  • Europe is generally less crowded and cheaper in the spring and fall shoulder seasons.
  • Domestic U.S. flights tend to see sales between September to early December when demand drops after summer.

Checking the tourism seasons for your intended destination can provide insights into expected airfare demand and the likelihood of sales.

Flight Departure Time

Another factor is your preferred flight time. Early morning and late-night flights are often cheaper because they are less popular departure times. If you can book the first flight of the day, typically around 6 am, or a red-eye flight later at night, the fares may be lower than normal daytime departures.

Connecting vs. Nonstop Flights

The number of stops on your flight can also impact the fare. As a general rule, nonstop flights are more expensive because they offer the convenience of less travel time. Connecting flights with layovers tend to be cheaper, although they take longer. If your schedule is flexible, looking at fares for routes with connections can unveil some hidden deals.

Advance Purchase Requirements

Many of the lowest fares require booking at least 30 days in advance. Airlines use advance purchase discounts to incentivize travelers to book earlier and lock in flights. If possible, start tracking fares and planning your trip at least a month ahead of time to take advantage of these early bird sales.

Length of Stay

Airlines also use minimum stay discounts to fill flights during slower periods. These require you to stay over a Saturday night and have a trip duration of at least 7-10 days. However, you can often find exceptions by being flexible with your dates. Even a short getaway fare can sometimes be lower if it meets the right stay requirements.


Airfare prices shift based on the general travel seasons:

  • Peak season (June – August): Most expensive time to fly due to summer vacations.
  • Shoulder season (September – November, April – May): Moderate pricing since crowds are smaller.
  • Off-peak season (December – March): Cheapest fares due to low demand in winter.

If possible, aim to book flights during the off-peak and shoulder seasons. But even peak season fares can be affordable if you plan ahead and select the right dates.

Tools for Finding Deals

Here are some useful resources to uncover the best day and time for airfare deals:

  • Airline deal emails and alerts
  • Fare aggregators like Kayak Explore and Google Flights
  • Private fare sales and flash deals
  • Airfare data and prediction tools
  • Flexible date search features
  • Travel deal websites

Other Money-Saving Tips

Along with choosing cheaper days to fly, some other ways to save on airfare include:

  • Book early morning flights which tend to have lower fares
  • Be flexible and adjust your travel dates +/- 3 days
  • Take red-eye flights which are often discounted
  • Fly mid-week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
  • Use airline miles or points to cover the cost
  • Watch for off-peak season sales and holiday discounts
  • Sign up for fare alerts to get notified of deals


Finding the cheapest days to fly requires being flexible with your travel plans. While weekends and holidays are generally the most expensive times, you can often save money by flying earlier in the week and in the off-peak travel seasons. Use airline sales calendars along with flight deal tools to pinpoint dates and routes with lowered fares. With some strategic scheduling, you can discover the ideal time to book affordable airfare.

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