It used to be common knowledge that Tuesdays and Wednesdays were the best days of the week to purchase airline tickets. However, a recent Texas A&M study says otherwise. The study revealed that the weekends are actually the best time to make your purchase, and that prices can be discounted up to 5% on Saturdays and Sundays.
Most savvy travelers would tell you that major airlines set their cheapest airfare on Monday night or Tuesday morning, then the rest of the airlines follow suit to keep up or undercut those prices. That makes Tuesday afternoon the best time to book a flight, right? Well, this study found that when controlling multiple factors (date of travel, how full the flights were, whether the ticket was refundable, the number of days in advance that the ticket was purchased, and other factors) that tickets purchased on weekends were 5 percent cheaper on average.
They also found that flights with a mix of both business and leisure customers had the best weekend discounts. Destinations where the majority of travel is for pleasure, like Orlando and Las Vegas, were not found to have as much of a discount.
The researchers believe that the airlines discount prices on the weekends because that’s when vacationers or leisure travelers are booking flights. They are the ones who are looking for the lowest possible prices, while professionals are booking their business travel during the week and are less concerned with the price.
The researchers only studied round-trip flights with nonstop service. The study did not examine first-class airfare or the holiday travel periods around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.
Texas A&M University (2013, May 22). Weekends are the best time to buy airline tickets, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 18, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522160301.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29