If you’re not a frequent traveler, Aug. 23 may have no special significance, but for those of us who spend a lot of time in the sky, it’s even better than Black Friday. That’s because Aug. 23, aka Cheap Flight Day, marks the start of the fall travel season and is the day that airlines typically drop fares on many, if not most, of their routes. Here are some answers to common questions about Cheap Flight Day.
Why Aug. 23? By Aug. 23, the majority of kids have gone back to school and the demand for leisure travel decreases a lot. Airlines know this, so they drop fares by 20 percent or more.
Does this apply to international flights? Yes! You’ll see a drop in fares for international as well as domestic flights.
What are the best days to fly to get a good fare? Traditionally, traveling on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays will get you the best deals, but that can vary widely depending on where and when you’re going.
What happens if I don’t book on Aug. 23? No worries. Cheap Flight Day should really be called Cheap Flight Season, because the reduced fares will continue to be available (and could even drop more) through early November.
How far in advance of my trip should I book? Book at least 30 days ahead.
What sites can help me find good deals? If you want to get out of town but don’t care where you’re going, try using airfarewatchdog.com. You can enter your departure city and it will give you a list of places where you can travel for cheap. Other sites for finding a deal include kayak.com, hipmunk.com and travelzoo.com. And be sure to sign up for weekly alerts and last-minute deal alerts on the major airline websites, including flyfrontier.com/ways-to-save/online-deals, travel.southwest.com/specialoffers and united.com/web/en-US/apps/booking/specials/default.aspx.
What are some other tips for finding deals this fall?
- Consider booking a trip to a place where you can access a national park, as it’s the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and there are lots of park-related deals to be found.
- Be flexible with your dates. You know how most airlines offer a calendar view that allows you to see all of the fares to a particular destination for the month? If you have some wiggle room in terms of when you travel, book according to the lowest fare.