The Best Times to Fly

We’ve collected data on every flight in the world. Read on to find ways to save on your flight.

How to Get a Cheap Flight to Your Destination


What is the cheapest time of year to fly?

The cheapest time to travel depends on where you’re coming from and where you’re going. Use the form above to find more specific recommendations.

We’ve analyzed millions of flights to tell you the best times to fly anywhere in the world. The graph below shows average price by week around the world for the average of all flights in USD.

Generally the cheapest time to fly is from the second week in January to the end of February. The next cheapest time for travel is from late August to mid November.

December is the most expensive month, but only due to the massive surge in price and demand during the last two weeks of the year. The start of the month is relatively affordable. Christmas and other holiday dates aside, the summer months are the most expensive times to fly. June and July are very expensive, with higher prices coming towards the end of July and tapering off as summer vacations in the northern hemisphere end.

Generally warm weather will mean higher prices, but those who can’t or don’t want to travel in cooler months can find good deals in late spring and early fall. Mid August to Early October are especially nice for those looking for warm weather and cheap ticket prices.

We list prices weekly and give you weekly ranges where the prices are cheap. This is important, because most sites only show you monthly data. This cost data can be misleading. I.e. while it’s true that December is the most expensive month, that’s only because the Holiday season around Christmas is extraordinary. Travel will be most expensive close to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and during the US summer vacation season. There are two major vacation schedules for schools, but May through the first Wednesday in September will have school out somewhere in the country. You can clearly see these times reflected in the travel volume, and flexible bargain hunters can find travel deals as the summer vacation season opens in late May and comes to a close after Labor Day.


Are there other ways to save on flights?

Absolutely! Because we don’t book flights ourselves, our interest is in giving you the best information possible so that you come back. We have nothing to gain by selling overpriced flights.

First, each route includes nearby airports where flights are cheaper, if there are any. For example, flights from New York City (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) are often much cheaper than flights from JFK to Santa Barbara (SBA). If you’re trying to book the JFK to SBA flight, we’ll let you know that you can save an average of 27% flying from JFK to LAX. We’ll also tell you it’s 88 miles away, so you can decide whether it’s worth it to take the Amtrak or drive instead. You might still choose convenience over cost, but many of our nearby airport recommendations can save $500 or more.

Champion Traveler has also listed flights that are often viable “fight hacking” opportunities. Don’t worry, flight hacking is absolutely legal. Those who are willing to spend a little extra time in the airport or who only pack a carry-on bag can often save money by booking two separate flights. For example, if you’re going to London (HEA) from Los Angeles (LAX) you’re likely going to have at least one stop. Choosing that stop yourself and booking two flights can actually be cheaper than having the airline handle your layover. Put your flight in and see what options there are.


What if I care more about weather than price?

Make sure to check out our series of guides on the best times to visit anywhere in the world. Simply put in your destination (or the closest city to it) and we’ll tell you the best time to visit for weather. You can also customize your preferences if warm weather isn’t your thing using our travel weather map.


What about last-minute deals?

Travelers with extreme flexibility in their schedule may be open to visiting a variety of places for last-minute travel deals. Unfortunately these deals tend to be to places where it’s cold or generally unpleasant.

Enter just your home airport above to see where the weather is nice. Alternatively, search for when the weather is nice here. You can then click through to a travel booking site and sign up for alerts from them for that route during the dates we recommend.


Do Domestic Flight Prices Vary by Country?

Yes, prices vary quite a bit by week and by country. Domestic flights are especially sensitive to high-demand travel periods. See, for example, the two countries compared below.

US versus UK prices by week for domestic flights


US Domestic Flight Prices
UK Domestic Flight Prices

UK domestic trips are far more expensive in the summer. There are many factors at play here, including a strong summer holiday tradition in the UK, and because in a smaller northern country there is no location like San Diego to escape for warm weather, so winter flights are more likely to be international. Different trends are seen for various states and countries all over the world.


Which day of the week is cheapest to fly?

As always, this will also depend on the destination, so you should look specific flights up here before flying. However, there is less variance in week prices, as the same days are usually the more expensive days all around the world.

On average Tuesdays and Wednesdays are cheapest for almost all flight destinations. Mondays, Fridays, and weekends are most expensive.

Tuesday flight tend to cost only 80%-90% what Sunday flights cost, depending on the route. On an average flight, passengers can save $46 by delaying their flight one day to Tuesday, with even more savings possible on some flights for the cheapest days. This is intentional as passengers with some flexibility are pushed by the airline into the mid-week flights through lower pricing. It’s easier to run at a consistent level Monday-Friday than it is to have extra flights throughout the week. Weekends have fewer flights available since employees prefer to take the traditional weekend days off. Because it’s harder or more expensive to staff a plane on weekends, airlines keep prices a little higher to encourage a different day.


I looked up the current flight price and it was different, what gives?

The prices shown in our graphs is the average price if you book for that week at least 30 days in advance. We cannot guarantee any pricing. Prices change all the time as airlines change routes, maintain their planes, and try to fill up as many planes as possible without any empty seats. Prices may even change due to unexpected spikes and dips in fuel prices.

As a general rule, though, you should book your flight at least 4 weeks from the time of travel. Planning ahead is the best way to save on your trip. The graph below shows how prices increase as the time of flight approaches.

Percent Increase in Booking Prices vs. Days From Flight

It is possible to save even more money by booking a trip at the right time, however these times are wildly volatile. You’ll find a lot of people giving advice, but the real secret is booking 30 days in advance and visiting at the right time, which you’ll discover when putting your flight in above. We don’t bother showing you when to book: the average savings and the average times are unlikely to actually save you money, and it’s more frustration and confusion than it’s worth as fluctuations are almost impossible to predict. We do, however tell you when to fly to reliably save money.


What if I haven't picked a destination?

Just enter the airport that is closest to you, or the airport you’d be departing from. We’ve not only analyzed price and cost by week, but we’ve looked at nice weather. We’ll give you recommendations by week where the prices are lower than usual and the weather is warm.

Make sure to bookmark these pages, as they’re a tremendous resource for deciding where you want to travel at any time in the year for cheap prices and warm weather.


How can I trust your price data?

We’ve looked at daily pricing for every flight for the last year. Our analysis factors out the noise of temporary price spikes or dips and tells you when, on average, you should book a flight.

Just take a look by plugging in your airport and, optionally, where you want to go. You’ll immediately be able to tell we know what we’re talking about.


Do International Flight Prices Vary by Country?

Because international flight prices are not bound to a single country, they tend to show less fluctuation with seasonality and local/national holidays. The graph below shows a much smoother trend in prices with fewer seasonal spikes for international flights

US versus worldwide International flights


Only US International Flight Prices
Non-US  International Flight Prices

Of course prices tend to be higher because the US is such a large country, and flights are more likely to cross the Atlantic or the Pacific oceans. You can still observe a higher price for summer months and the end of the year holiday. National holidays show a much more subdued spike: about 3% over the median for international flights, where US domestic flights show a 15% increase over the median for the same week.

What if I just want to see current prices?

Our data is designed to help you plan ahead, showing the average price for flights at least 4 weeks out. If you’re traveling sooner or want to get straight to the current prices, no problem. Just click the link below.

Search for Flights & Hotels

Find Flight Deals and the Best Times to Travel