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Study: Which Day of the Week is Best to Book Cheap Flights?

It depends on the airline, but there are some clear trends

by Fergus Cole

May 8, 2024

Photo: Courtesy of rupixen / Unsplash

You may have heard that the price of flights can change depending on the day of the week that you book it, but the truth behind this has been a matter of debate. But now, it’s been revealed that the time you search for and book flights online makes a difference, according to an Upgraded Points report.

The team at Upgraded Points analyzed more than 44,000 flights across ten of the busiest air routes in the United States over a four-week period. Airfare data was taken from Google Flights search results, and prices are based on one-way economy class tickets booked three to four weeks in advance.

Photo: Courtesy of Delta Air Lines / Joey Mintz, Jamie Choi

The report found that, generally, the best day to book a flight is Tuesday, when airfares are 5.28 percent below average. This was closely followed by Monday, when airfares were 5.23 percent below the average.

On the other hand, Saturday was the worst day to book, as prices were 7.28 percent higher than average. Friday isn’t much better, with average airfares 5.89 percent higher than average. Every other day of the week – Sunday to Thursday – has average airfares below the norm.

“Long held to be a myth, it turns out that there actually is a best day to book a flight if you want to save money,” said Keri Stooksbury, editor-in-chief of Upgraded Points. “Knowing this will help maximize your travel savings while making informed choices that are both practical and budget-friendly for everyone.”

Cheapest Days of the Week to Book a Flight:

RankDayAverage airfare costChange from average

However, the report has found that the day on which you book a flight affects the amount of money you can save, but the best day for booking a flight varies depending on the airline you are booking with.

While Tuesday is the cheapest day to book a flight in general, this is not the case for all airlines. In fact, Sunday is the best day to book a flight with American Airlines, JetBlue, and United Airlines.

In contrast, Tuesday is only the best day for booking flights with Frontier Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines.

The airline with the most consistent pricing throughout the week was American Airlines, with a difference of just $14.67 between its most expensive day to book and its cheapest. United also had fairly consistent pricing, with a range of just $17.81 between its cheapest and most expensive days.

On the other hand, Hawaiian Airlines had a significant difference of $100.38 in average airfares between its cheapest day to book (Tuesday) and the most expensive (Saturday). JetBlue also had a fairly significant average airfare range of under $60.

Here are the cheapest and most expensive days to book flights with each major U.S. airline, according to Upgraded Points:

AirlineCheapest day (Average price)Most expensive day (Average price)Range in average price
Hawaiian AirlinesTuesday ($143.46)Saturday ($243.84)$100.38
JetBlueSunday ($227.31)Friday ($287.01)$59.71
Delta Air LinesThursday ($181.05)Saturday ($217.33)$36.28
Alaska AirlinesThursday ($274.69)Saturday ($310.45)$35.76
Spirit AirlinesMonday ($135.80)Saturday ($165.21)$29.40
Frontier AirlinesTuesday ($129.72)Friday ($158.71)$28.99
United AirlinesSunday ($281.66)Thursday ($299.47)$17.81
American AirlinesSunday ($271.47)Monday ($286.14)$14.67

The study did not consider Southwest Airlines due to the unavailability of its flight data on Google Flights. This means that the analysis and comparisons were limited to only those airlines whose information was accessible on the platform.