When travelers plan weekend getaways, they are generally booking more expensive flights than if they departed on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, five years’ worth of Google Flights airfare data show.

American Airlines and JetBlue planes. Source: Sean Davis, Flickr.com https://flic.kr/p/2n6E6sk

In fact, it has been 12 percent cheaper to book getaway flights on these weekdays than over a weekend, and it’s 20 percent more frugal when when just considering U.S. domestic flights, Google found. Sundays has averaged the most expensive day to fly.

Google published these nuggets about airfares Wednesday, as well as others, including:

  • There’s really no one cheapest day to book flights, although certain weekdays have been a bit cheaper to book flights than weekends. Urban legend destroyed. Google found that over the past five years, booking flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays have averaged 1.9 percent cheaper than on the weekends. So that $1,000 flight booked on a Saturday might be available for $981 on a Thursday.
  • On average, the lowest prices for U.S. domestic flights have occurred 44 days before departure. U.S. domestic flights tend to be the lowest price 21 to 60 days before takeoff.
  • It’s not a big surprise, but flights with layovers on average are cheaper than nonstops. Flights with stops, or layovers, averaged 20 percent cheaper than direct flights with no stops, Google found.
  • “For trips to Europe from the U.S., prior trends suggest you’ll want to book on the earlier side,” Google stated. “The best deals were usually found 129 days before departure and prices tend to be lower anywhere between 50 and 179 days out.”

airlines

Jet Stream Newsletter

Airline news moves fast. Don’t miss a beat with our weekly airline newsletter. Landing in your inbox every Saturday.