Expedia recently released its “2023 Air Travel Hacks Report,” providing the latest essential tips to save travelers time and money on flights. Created in partnership with Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) and leveraging insights from its global air ticketing database, the annual report has become an authority for eight years running on air travel trends, revealing data-backed hacks for travelers, including:
- The best day of the week to book airfare and catch the lowest prices
- The sweet spot for booking airfare
- How to minimize the risk of being impacted by delays and cancelations
- Tools for finding the best fares
The Top Tips From the "2023 Air Travel Hacks Report"
Book airfare on a Sunday to save up to 15 percent. Travelers who book on Sundays instead of Fridays tend to save, on average, around 5 percent on domestic flights and 15 percent on international flights.
Book at least a month before domestic flights and six months before international flights to save 10 percent. Travelers that booked in these periods saved 10 percent on average compared to those who waited until the last minute. The “sweet spot” is about 28 to 35 days before departure. Along those same lines, domestic airfares have been more expensive in the three and a half to six months before departure, so try not to book too early.
For international travel, book six months before international flights to save 10 percent on average. Travelers that book around six months in advance of international travel saved 10 percent on average compared to those who waited until two months out or less to book.
Depart on a Wednesday to save up to 15 percent. Avoid departing Saturday through Monday, which are the priciest days, on average, to start a trip.
Depart before 3 p.m. to reduce chance of cancelations. Based on year-to-date flight status data, flights that depart after 3 p.m. have a 50 percent higher chance, on average, of being delayed than those that depart earlier in the day. Additionally, travel off-peak. Data shows that avoiding the peak travel periods can have more benefits than just cost savings: Historically, flight delays were shorter during March and April compared to the busy summer months, dropping by about 40 minutes. As summer wound down, delays began to shorten again, making fall an appealing time for air travel.
Plan using price alerts. Take the guess work out of deciding when to book with the Price Tracking and Prediction feature on the Expedia app, which uses exclusive data to pinpoint the best time to book and notifies travelers when flight prices change. Other websites, such as Google, offer similar services.