Saving money on business travel isn’t just about choosing the cheapest airline and finding the best travel site. Choosing the right days to fly can also have a major impact on prices. Read on for a comprehensive guide on finding the cheapest time to travel by plane for business travelers looking to cut costs.
Reduce business travel costs
Business travel can help you connect with customers, network with others in your industry, and attend big events around the world. But all of these flights can put a strain on your budget. Fortunately, there are ways to save money on business travel while enjoying a number of benefits.
First, check out sites like Airfarewatchdog and Skyscanner for deals on flights for affordable travel. Next, consider changing your travel plans to find lower fares during slow travel seasons or on days when planes are usually not full.
Of course, specific fares may vary depending on the countries you are traveling to and whether you are looking for short domestic flights or long international connections. But the tips below can help you find the cheapest flights available for you.
What are the cheapest days of the week to fly?
Specific fares vary by airline and destination. But choosing days when people typically don’t fly can help you find better deals so you can save on small business travel. Travel days that typically have low fares include Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Travelers often prefer to start the week with a flight and return home on the weekends. Tuesdays fall in the middle of the week. But they’re still close enough to the start that business travelers spend several days at their destination before the weekend. During your next trip, remember to book appointments every day of the week but on Monday to take advantage of Tuesday’s offers.
Wednesdays are cheap in large part for the same reasons as Tuesdays. Vacationers typically travel on weekends and business travelers travel on Mondays and Fridays. Flying on a Wednesday can give you a few days of work before the weekend. Or you could arrive at your destination a few days before a big trade show or weekend event.
Thursdays are late enough in the week that airlines don’t get a lot of business travelers. But they’re too early for most weekend getaways. Perhaps this is the perfect day for those who want to spend a weekend at special events while still benefiting from cheap travel deals.
If you absolutely have to travel on weekends, Saturday is usually the cheapest. You save business travelers from going home on Friday and vacationers from leaving on Sunday. It’s usually not as cheap as Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but it can be useful for business owners who need to start the week in their destination.
Here are some examples…
Flights from Los Angeles to New York: Monday $ 129, Tuesday $ 107, Wednesday $ 108, Thursday $ 80, Friday $ 132, Saturday $ 118, Sunday $ 127
Flights from San Francisco to Atlanta: Monday $ 105, Tuesday $ 84, Wednesday $ 84, Thursday $ 115, Friday $ 115, Saturday $ 97, Sunday $ 126
Flights from New York to Frankfurt: Monday $ 436, Tuesday $ 336, Wednesday $ 311, Thursday $ 336, Friday $ 491, Saturday $ 417, Sunday $ 411
Flights from Detroit to London: Monday $ 761, Tuesday $ 443, Wednesday $ 443, Thursday $ 523, Friday $ 543, Saturday $ 573, Sunday $ 846
The worst times of the year to fly
The time of year you choose to travel can also have a major impact on prices. There is almost always an increased demand for vacation travel. For example, Christmas and Spring Break weeks are always busy due to the fact that children are out of school. Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends are also popular travel times with high fares. And summer in general is usually quite busy.
These times don’t just come with higher than usual airline fares. Hotels and other travel expenses like rental cars are also generally more expensive during these times due to higher demand.
The cheapest times of the year to fly
Alternatively, less busy seasons often come with lower fares on flights, hotels and other travel costs. If you have a choice of season when booking a business trip, consider the following times of the year.
Fall is usually accompanied by a decrease in travel requests. The kids are back to school and there are no long vacations when people leave work. Since everyone is usually done with their summer trip, September, October, and November (other than Thanksgiving week) can be ideal for booking business trips.
People often book vacation trips during Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks. Early December is somewhere in between. So there is not as much activity.
In January, people have finished their vacations and many popular sites are less crowded due to the weather. It is often the perfect place to find flight deals at the start of the year.
The cheapest time of day to fly
The best times of day to fly are usually the ones that aren’t particularly popular. Since people like to fly when it’s comfortable and convenient, you may need to get up early or fly late at night to get the best deals. The cheapest times for flights are generally:
- 6am to 7am: This can be ideal for business travelers who want to have meetings in the morning, but it’s a bit early for most leisure travelers.
- Midnight or later: Red-eye flights are difficult for those with children or anyone who wants to be well rested at their destination.
- Between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m .: The middle of the day is unattractive for many travelers, as it leaves little free time on either side of the flight.
How many days before a flight is the best price?
Exact prices vary depending on your home airport, desired destination and time of year. However, the cheapest days to book are usually around 70 days before the departure date. This is early enough that flights are usually not full, but late enough that airlines have an incentive to fill seats.
Cheapest day to book flights and reduce your ticket price
Tuesday around midnight is usually the best time to find cheap flights. Airlines often publish offers on this date. Saturdays and Sundays are also good days to book, as there are fewer people browsing travel sites during working hours.
Cheapest time to book flights and save money on airline tickets
The time you book flights can also have an impact on airline ticket prices. Here are some moments to focus on:
- Midnight: Midnight, especially Tuesdays, can help you find deals that have just been posted by airlines.
- Early Morning: Many of these offers are still available for morning sailors. Just check in before people get to work and start logging in for the day.
- Late night: there are generally fewer people looking for late night flights. You may find even better deals if you choose Monday night, as some airlines offer discounts a bit earlier.
Finding Cheap Flight Deals: The Result
If your travel can be flexible, here are some other ways to save even more on small business travel. You can save a lot of money by booking flights during slow travel times. The best weeks and days to fly are generally mid-week and during seasons that are not popular with leisure travelers. You can also use sites like Skyscanner to find cheap flights and compare fares on different days and from different destinations. Flights with transfers are sometimes also offered at low prices.
Does the day of the week you book a flight matter?
There are many factors that can affect flight prices, including the day of the week you book. Monday evenings and Tuesday mornings are the cheapest days for some airlines, as they sometimes post deals on these days. However, weekends sometimes also have deals as less people book then. Other factors such as the time you book and the days you choose to travel can also affect prices.
When are the cheapest flights?
The cheapest days to fly are usually the least popular days with other travelers. Midweek flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are often the best days of the week for flight deals. And choosing the right week to travel, like between Thanksgiving and Christmas instead of those vacation weeks, can also help you book affordable flights.
Are flight prices going down on Sundays?
Flight prices don’t necessarily go down on Sundays. In fact, many airlines adjust fares based on seats sold and competitor prices on Mondays and Tuesdays. However, it also means that prices can go up on these days. Sunday can therefore be one of the best days of the week to book flights if you expect the price to go up.
Is it cheaper to fly on Sunday or Monday?
Sundays and Mondays aren’t usually the cheapest days to fly – you can often find better deals mid-week. However, Sundays are often cheaper than Mondays, as many travelers book weeklong trips from Monday. For example, a flight from San Francisco to New York costs $ 148 on Sunday and $ 178 on Monday. However, if your destination is nearby and popular for weekend getaways, Mondays can be cheaper. Visit your preferred travel site to compare prices on both days for your specific itinerary.