Wouldn't it be amazing if there was one magical day where flights were inexplicably cheaper than usual? Well, that day pretty much exists, and it's not all that inexplicable why. Cheap Flight Day is Aug. 23 of this year, and there are some reports that certain airlines will drop their prices up to 10-20 percent.
According to Priceline, nearly half (44 percent) of Americans who have booked flights in the last year say the feeling that they get when they save money on a flight is better than sex — and we can't blame them. While there are certainly skeptics out there about whether this sweet spot for buying plane tickets is too good to be true, and while there may not be a true science to it, it's definitely a fact that late August/early September is the end of Summer travel. This could play a huge role in the cost of flights, meaning you may be able to snag significantly lower fares around this time. Though the dates may range, it'd be wise to check out prices for future travel in the near future — particularly between Aug. 21-23.
We spoke with travel expert Sanjay Hathiramani, global SVP of supplier relations for online travel agency CheapOair, about Cheap Flight Day, and he gave us the details on when the best time is to purchase flights if you want to save major money.
Why will airfares drop starting at the end of August?
"As Summer quickly comes to a close, so does the busiest time of the year for travel," Hathiramani said. "Kids are back to school, the weather starts to cool down, and people are gearing up for the holidays. As the demand for airfare decreases, so do the fares." This means if you're already planning holiday travel, it may be a good time to jump on travel deals!
What does this date means for travelers as we head into this off-peak, shoulder season of travel?
The Aug. 23 date basically just marks the end of peak travel season. "These fares are going to drop, and remain low well into the Fall season," Hathiramani said. "They'll stay low until the holiday season, when the demand will increase. Now is the time for travelers to search and find bargain deals for Thanksgiving and December holidays."
What are the best days of that week to book your cheap airfare?
Not only did Hathiramani have tips for cheap travel, but he also offered insight into what days are best for buying the cheapest plane tickets you can. "Traditionally Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the peak booking days," he said. "However, as airlines introduce short-term specials, Friday through Sunday would be a good time to look for bargain airfares."
On average, how much will airfare be dropping?
A lot! Average prices for popular travel destinations are expected to decrease around 30 percent for international travel and about 14 percent for domestic travel. "This is especially an ideal time for purchasing long haul and international flights, as those will yield more bargains over shorter, domestic flights," Hathiramani said.
How long will these low prices remain available to consumers?
If you're planning international travel, fares will remain low through the Fall season and into early December. The fares will then increase due to the holiday travel period. Domestic fares are expected to remain low through a week or less prior to Thanksgiving.
How can travelers find the lowest fares when searching?
"Once these fares drop, act as soon as you can," Hathiramani said. "The best advice for finding the best fares is booking as soon as you can in advance of your trip. Being flexible with your travel dates also helps in the end as well. For example, if you are able to fly out on a Thursday, rather than the more popular day, Friday. And, if you can go home on a Monday, rather than a Sunday. Utilizing search sites like CheapOair and others also helps a lot, because this allows you to compare prices across the board and find the best fare and fit for your travel needs. Signing up for newsletter alerts and searching on meta search sites helps too."