Airfare Expert: Best and worst days to fly in 2018 [usatoday.com]
If you’re feeling a little blah because the holidays are over and the dreariness of another winter is upon us, this may perk you up: January is an excellent time to fly because it’s so darn cheap, for domestic travel and Europe. Some examples of round-trip fares, all found within the past few days on FareCompare:
• Los Angeles to Denver – $53
• Chicago to Miami – $63
• Boston to Kauai, Hawaii – $482
• New York to Madrid – $382
Of course, what goes down does come up so let’s take a look at the best and worst days to fly so you can plan accordingly in the new year.
January and February
Best days to fly: Jan. 9 and beyond. This is when the very cheap, post-holiday pricing kicks in. The bargains continue throughout the month and into February.
Worst days: February 15, 16, 17. Prices rise for travel during the President’s Day holiday for weekend trips.
March and April
Best days to fly: Most weekdays.
Worst days: Weekends beginning March 10/11, continuing through April 21/22. This marks the start of the spring break travel season; airlines know most fliers who take these vacations will make it a week-long break and weekend fares rise with demand. But you can make it a cheaper spring break by flying a Tuesday-to-Saturday or Saturday-to-Wednesday itinerary.
May, June, July and August
Best days to fly: May 1 – 16. Prices will be relatively cheap for both weekdays and weekends.
Worse days: May 17 – June 22. Higher, pre-summer fares kick in with an average price hike for weekdays and weekends of 20%+ over May fares.
Worst days: June 23 to late August. Summer fares reach their peak, and pricing remains high through Aug. 13, when prices drop for weekday fares.
Best day to fly: Aug. 27. This is when the high summer fares drop for weekends as well as weekdays, and lower fares will rule until a big jump for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving falls early in 2018, on Nov. 22. Look for cheap fares the week after the holiday and into early December, when higher Christmas and New Year’s fares kick in.
Cheap times to fly: Jan. 9 to March 16. Prices drop as much as 40% over holiday fares.
Higher fares: May 29 to June 15. Fares begin to rise for summer.
Highest fares: June 16 to July 15. Peak summer pricing is in effect. Cheaper fall fares take over beginning around Sept. 10.