We’ve learnt through trial and error and common sense that if we’re taking a weekend break, travelling out on a Friday and returning Sunday, we’re going to pay more than travelling mid week. But did you know that the day of the week you purchase your ticket can make a difference too? On average, ticket prices are highest at weekends, according to online travel agencies, fare trackers and airline pricing executives, reports the Wall Street Journal.
So when should we purchase our flights? Travel experts reckon that Tuesday is the day when sales are most often in place. Wednesday is also supposed to have good, and occasionally better, ticket prices. It seems that airline pricing follows a cycle during the week, with sales offering a 15% to 25% discount on seats launched on Monday night. Competitors typically match the lower prices on Tuesday morning but by Thursday or Friday, many sales have already expired. ‘Like bread, fares get sort of stale toward the end of the week’, said Bob Harrell, a fare consultant who has tracked airline pricing for years.
Rick Seaney, chief executive of FareCompare.com, studied airline prices over a period of three years and concluded that 3 p.m. on Tuesday was the best time to buy. ‘That's when the maximum number of cheapest seats are in the marketplace', he said. The pattern stems from the days when sales were announced in daily newspaper ads. On Monday, if pricing executives decided to offer a sale, the ads would go in Tuesday editions. Airlines wanted sales out early in the week to allow customers to buy from travel agencies, open Monday to Fridays. Nowadays, we can buy flights on the Internet at any time, but the pattern remains. So have your credit card ready at 3pm next Tuesday!