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The Best Way To Save On 2023 Flights According To New Study

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Flights have gotten more expensive in 2022 and 2023, and it's been reported by different studies that certain routes have increased more than others. However, travelers’ willingness to explore new destinations or visit friends and family members remains strong, and there are different strategies to find cheap flights and reduce travel costs. 

Solo female traveler at the airport

The American online travel agency recently published its 9th annual Airfare Study and shared valuable insights and good advice for travelers booking flights soon. Most importantly, they've determined the best times to buy tickets for domestic flights. 

Experts at the travel company analyzed 917 million airfares in over 8,000 markets in the United States and revealed their discoveries. Did you know that, on average, fares change 49 times by $43 each time?

So when is the best time to book a flight?

Here are the most valuable insights for travelers:

Travelers walking at the airport in New York

How To Save On 2023 Flights has shared a few relevant conclusions for travelers. These are the main considerations for booking cheap flights in 2023:

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Young woman booking cheap flights on her laptop from her desk
  • Book Early: According to the study, on average, the best time to book a flight is 70 days before the travel date. The company has clarified that this doesn’t mean that travelers have to book exactly 70 days before, it varies depending on the destination and the airline, but it is a great reference for booking domestic flights.
  • Prefer Wednesdays: This is the cheapest day to fly, and Sundays are the most expensive. On average, travelers can save up to $100 when traveling on Wednesdays across different airlines in the United States.
  • Travel In February: Getting romantic for Valentine’s Day and traveling in February might actually be a great investment opportunity—saving on average $114 on fare costs— according to this study. February usually has the least expensive fares, followed by January. Flying in December will cost travelers more, and they will also encounter expensive fares in July. 
Couple hugging and having a romantic moment in New York during sunset
  • The best day to buy is a myth: It used to be popular among travelers to stay up late on a Tuesday night to book the best prices for airline tickets, but this study confirms that it is just a myth. It doesn't matter if you book your flight on a Saturday night or Thursday morning. Fares might vary but for less than $1. 
  • Plan Summer Travel In Advance: The summer season is usually very busy, and travelers will find the lowest prices by booking early. For winter travel, customers might find bargains closer to the date of travel.
happy young couple relax and take fresh drink at summer vacation

The agency also recommends using its platform to find cheap tickets and try special features like its Price Drop Payback to get money back if prices drop.

Other Interesting Insights

When it comes to buying flight tickets, there’s no perfect formula, and there are certain features and situations that might affect travelers’ experiences. Some travel experts do not recommend travelers book their flights from their phones since certain fees might not show in the reference price.

Woman looking at her phone while resting hand on suitcase

In the study, CheapAir also suggests that travelers shouldn’t focus only on the price. The fare criteria matter, but so do legroom, stops and waiting times at the airport, cabin area, and fare class. For those looking for the best prices on their favorite seats, the travel company also recommends considering the “Airfare booking zone”. 

CheapAir also created a system called the Flight Booking Zone, which is a framework that considers airline ticket pricing patterns and has six categories depending on the days before the flight: First Dibs, Peace of Mind, Prime Booking Window, Push Your Luck, Playing With Fire, and Hail Mary. 

traveler with suitcase running at the airport

The First Dibs zone is for purchases with more than 212 days in advance, while the Hail Mary zone applies for travel in less than a week, where travelers are more likely to pay higher rates. They consider the best time to purchase is during the Prime Booking Window, 164 to 46 days in advance.

A view of NYC from an airplane seat located near the wing, the best spot for a smooth flight

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

zosima vargas

Sunday 12th of February 2023