Flights: The ‘best’ day of the week to jet off – from saving money to beating queues

Simon Calder on BA and EasyJet cancelling flights on April 14th

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Whether there is a cheaper day to fly or the quietest time depends on a number of factors; the time of year, the airline and destination, and the airport you are travelling from. However, experts have found that booking flights or flying on certain days could play a role in increasing your chances of a more affordable ticket or a smoother airport experience.

When is the cheapest day to fly?

There is a lot of speculation among experts about whether there even is the cheapest day to jet off.

While research in the US suggests Tuesday and Wednesday might be the cheapest, this isn’t necessarily the case across the pond in the UK.

Back in 2019, Skyscanner’s Flight Insights Report found that the cheapest day to fly was a Friday.

According to the report, travellers were able to save up to 21 percent on airfare if they choose to fly from the UK on a Friday.

However, given the huge changes the travel industry has undergone since the pandemic, these findings are unlikely to stand firm in 2022.

Instead, experts recommended doing your research well in advance to determine the cheapest deal regardless of the day to depart.

When is the cheapest time to book?

Much like the cheapest day of the week, the cheapest time to book is also up for speculation.

However, experts collectively agree that planning in advance is your best bet for snagging a deal.

Money Saving Expert said: “Flights should generally be booked early but of course, recent travel uncertainty has left many unwilling to plan too far ahead.

“Last-minute bargains can be found too though, particularly if you’re flexible about when you travel.

“If you’re looking further into the future, unless you prefer sticking with the same airline and you’re holding out for a sale you know is coming up, it’s usually best to book as early as you can.”

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Recent data from Jack’s Flight Club found the cheapest time to book can vary between international and short-haul routes.

The experts explained: “We’ve found that short-haul flights are more predictable when deciding the best time to book: the best time to book a short-haul flight is a few weeks to four months before departure.

“The price variations for short-haul flights are consistently competitive, especially for popular destinations.”

They continued: “Broadly speaking, buying tickets somewhere between eight months and six weeks in advance gets you the lowest prices.”

When do people have the ‘best’ airport experience?

If you are looking for a smooth airport experience, including fewer queues and better customer service, new research from HappyOrNot found that Wednesday could be the best day to travel.

HappyOrNot, the makers of the ‘smiley face’ consumer feedback terminals found in airports, analysed over 4.5 million customer feedback data points from airports in over 30 countries worldwide to provide travel insights ahead of the busy summer tourism period.

According to its report: “Data from the first quarter of 2022 reveals that the best day of the week to fly is Wednesday, while Sunday is the worst.

“The best time to fly is 8am, the worst being midnight.”

The most common complaints from passengers were waiting times, customer service and staff friendliness.

Miika Mäkitalo, CEO of HappyOrNot, said: “By releasing these findings, we hope to equip travellers with the knowledge of when might be best to fly and the times they should probably avoid, as well as equipping airport operators with passenger experience data insights to be aware of as airports get busy again.”

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