|Image by Conor Ogle|
But there are ways to increase your odds of getting the best deal — and they have to do with timing your purchase, according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal.
Here’s the tip: You’ll most likely to find the best deals midweek. Airlines typically launch discounts of 15 to 25 percent on Monday night; competitors match their prices on Tuesday and Wednesday. The sales are often over by Thursday or Friday. The story tracked one advance purchase round-trip flight from Atlanta to Chicago — tickets cost 30 percent less on Monday and Tuesday than they did the following four days.
Some airlines are sending sales out directly to customers at all hours, making pricing far less predictable each day. Or carriers may tweet an hour-long sale. As a result, airlines can match competitors more nimbly, sneak sales under the radar of competitors and send deeply discounted offers anytime to customers who sign up for fare alerts.
The midweek advantage may be common knowledge to experienced travelers, but it came as a surprise to me. I often book flights on the weekends, since that’s when I have more time to look around for the best prices.
No more. I’m a converted Tuesday-morning shopper (provided I haven’t already snagged a deal via Twitter).
Am I the last one to hear that Tuesday and Wednesday are the best time to buy airline tickets?