Tip: Best Day and Time to Buy Airline Tickets

20 10 2010

Soaring over clouds at sunset flikr/FS2004

Originally published in GPS.OutTraveler.com

If you’ve gone online to purchase airline tickets, you’ve probably noticed the surprisingly large discrepancies in price depending on the day of the week or time of day that you search. This can be confusing and frustrating. Makes you yearn for the good old days of travel agents! Turns out there is an optimal day and time to book those tickets.

According to their analysis of huge volumes of online booking data, Fare Compare found that the best time to buy airline tickets is Tuesday at 3PM ET.

Fare Compare also found the three cheapest days to fly are Wednesday, Tuesday, or Saturday. The cheapest flight is usually the very first, though that may mean having to get up in the wee hours of the morning. Another advantage to taking the first flight: If there’s a delay or cancelation, there are more chances to get another flight. That’s not true if you chose the last flight of the day. So set that alarm for 3AM, grab a coffee, hit the airport, and save some money.

Fare Compare offers more tips for getting the best prices for those ticket.

Check back here for our next tip: Once you’ve booked, how to choose the best seat (on most major airlines).

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