As the holiday travel season nears, we're all looking for the best travel deals. You've probably seen those stories that claim to know what days are cheapest to book flights. But are they really accurate? We verify that claim.
"Our advice to a lot of the customers would be plan early and try to reserve early for those flights because they're going to be full, I think, throughout the system," Tyler Pounds Regional Manager Davis Dickson said.
It's advice that frequent flyers know all too well, especially during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
"You're combining a lot of leisure travel with holiday and some business travel. So, it's a good idea to plan early," Dickson said.
To put things in perspective, compare any other day of the week with the week of Thanksgiving. The number of people on the move jumps by 54 percent. During Christmas and New Years, that number rises by 23 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation.
With hikes like that, we're all looking for the best deals. You've seen those articles that claim to know when to buy and what days are cheapest. But, is there any truth to them?
"Everybody I think wants to know if they can save money by buying on a Tuesday and in fact that's one of the reasons we set up Hopper," Hopper analyst Patrick Surry said.
Surry analyzes data collected by the flight application Hopper.
"We collect billions of prices everyday and sort through those to help customers understand when it's a good time to buy their flight, how to save money and even when to fly if you've got flexibility," Surry said.
He said while there's a small difference in price, some days are cheaper than others.
"Flights tend to be slightly cheaper early in the week, but the problem is it doesn't typically apply for any particular trip you want to take."
A 2016 report by Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corporation agrees, naming Sunday as the best days for deals.
U.S. flights booked on a Sunday were 11 percent cheaper than all other days. For someone flying to Europe, the results were even better, at 16 percent. But, the report also recommends booking at least 21 days in advance. It's something Surry said will help you get the best price.
"Plane tickets tend to take off in price as you get closer to departure because people tend to procrastinate," Surry said.
So, while we can verify that flights early in the week tend to be cheaper, Surry still said planning is key.
"It's more about doing your planning, understanding what a good price is for the ticket and watching to see if the airline happens to put your trip on sale."
According to travel analysts, Friday's are the worst day to book flights due to the high volume of business travelers who tend to book their flights at the end of the week.
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