The cheapest day to book flights for any type of holiday

Finding the cheapest day to book flights is something of a Holy Grail for frequent travellers. An illusive day on which both international and domestic flights are cheaper to book, saving passengers hundreds of dollars. While there isn’t one specific day, month or time when all travel-related costs are least expensive, there are particular days and timeframes that are statistically cheaper than others. Expedia’s 2024 Air Travel Hacks Report was released on 27 September 2023, and it provides insight into the cheapest day to book flights and the best times to travel, and reveals flight trends travellers can expect to encounter in 2024. The report draws on billions of data points and the most extensive air ticketing database in the world through collaboration with Airlines Reporting Corporation and OAG, the world’s largest provider of flight information. 

According to Expedia flight demand data, Bali, Bangkok and London are among the most popular destinations for Australian travellers, with Sapporo in Japan the fastest-growing destination. Furthermore, the report indicated that while both the number of scheduled short-haul and long-haul flights is nearly at 2019 levels, average ticket prices have increased by up to 20% for economy and 17% for premium.

two people talking over laptops
Online tools can help travellers find the cheapest airfares. ©Unsplash

The cheapest day to book flights

What day of the week is the cheapest to book flights? Expedia data suggests the cheapest day of the week to book a flight is Sunday. Travellers who book on Sundays instead of Fridays tend to save up to 20% on domestic economy flights and up to 29% on domestic business, and 18% off international economy flights and 22% on international business, on average. 

What is the most expensive day to book a flight? 

Information pulled from Expedia’s report and travel aggregator Kayak suggest that seats hit peak pricing towards the end of the work week, with return international airfares most expensive on Friday, and domestic airfares peaking around Thursday. The cheapest day to book flights is usually going to be towards the start of the work week. 

Thursday is the cheapest day to depart
According to Expedia, Friday is the cheapest day to depart. © Canva

When is the cheapest time to book domestic flights? 

The Air Travel Hacks Report found the cheapest day to book flights for domestic travel is at least 14 weeks in advance, saving passengers up to 20%, compared to those who book flights at the last minute. 

When is the cheapest time to book international flights? 

International flight pricing is quite stable during the six months prior to departure, however, seats should be booked at least one month in advance to enjoy optimal availability, seat and flight selection, and increased savings. 

What is the most affordable day of the week to travel? 

Although Sundays are the cheapest day to book flights, on average Sundays are proven to be the priciest day to actually be flying. Stats indicate that Friday is the cheapest day on which to fly with savings of up to 23% up for grabs. Mid-workweek flights are also typically more affordable, too.

Woman standing inside the St Peter's Church
Make a holiday more affordable with clever flight hacks. ©Unsplash/Anna Church

Which is the cheapest month to fly? 

Data collected by Expedia suggests the cheapest month to fly is August for international, with savings of up to 40% compared to flights in January. However, domestic flights are most affordable during April.

What time of day has the most flight cancellations? 

For those worried about flight cancellations, Expedia’s analysis of year-to-date flight status data reveals flights that depart before 3 p.m. have a 18% higher chance, on average, of being cancelled than those that depart later in the day.

Cheapest day to book flights domestic and international
Travellers can save up to 20% just by booking and travelling on certain days. © Canva

Eight tips for finding cheap flights 

  • Sign up for email newsletters from your preferred airlines to be the first to know about seasonal or limited flight sales 
  • If your chosen destination has two airports within a similar distance of your accommodation, compare pricing for flying in and out of different airports
  • Travel at undesirable times such as off-season, winter, extremely early or late night flights, or even flying after work 
  • Utilise free online travel resources and tools such as Kayak’s Best Time To Travel tool, Google Flights, Skyscanner, Webjet and Expedia 
  • Book flights earlier using dollars, and later or last-minute fights using points
  • If you fly often, consider signing up for your preferred airline’s membership program or frequent flyer credit card to obtain member-only discounts and build up rewards points
  • Try booking two one-way tickets instead of a return airfare, this can sometimes result in better overall costs
  • Be flexible with travel dates, times and destinations 

Read more: 

29 of the best travel apps
How to find cheap flights for your next holiday
Nine destinations where the Australian dollar goes further 
Book the cheapest flights and hotels with Kayak’s new tool 

Find more travel tips and tricks on Vacations & Travel…

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