Worst time to fly revealed

what is the worst time to fly

You can probably guess the worst times of the year to fly. The best times to fly are the days with less demand for seats, so that means the worst times of the year to fly are the times with the most demand.

These generally include the days around holidays or festivals (in Australia or at your destination), sporting events, and any time kids are out of school. Sometimes, holidays and kids being off from school line up. Those are typically the worst times to fly.

Of course, you may not always have a choice. Maybe you have kids in school, perhaps you work at a school, maybe you only get holidays off from work.

If that’s the case, there are a few things you can try to make paying for your flights less painful. For example, try flying to less popular destinations. You can also try varying your flight dates by a day or two. By taking an extra day off or giving up a day of your trip, you might be able to save significantly.

Read: How to be a better passenger – from a flight attendant

Best time of the year to fly

Consider your destination when flying internationally. This seems obvious, but many times, the distance to the destination, combined with national events at your destination (such as the World Cup, Oktoberfest, Hanami Festival in Japan and many others) play a role in the cost of travel.

Higher demand to visit a destination will typically increase the price of flights. If there’s a scheduled event you want to attend, check out flights to neighbouring cities and considering commuting by rail or road to your desired destination. This tip can decrease your travel expenses and probably create a more interesting trip.

Worst day and time to fly

No matter where you’re headed, the cheapest day to fly will be on a Tuesday. This was one of the least expensive days to travel for every destination in a study done by CheapAir. Wednesday was the other cheapest day to fly for all destinations except for the South Pacific, where Tuesday was the only consistently inexpensive travel day.

If you can, avoid flying on a Sunday, which was deemed the most expensive day to fly for all regions except for the Middle East – where Saturday is the priciest.

Not only are Tuesdays the cheapest day of the week to fly but, according to a new study by AirHelp, it’s also the day with the least amount of flight cancellations.

Read: Planning tips to avoid flight delays

Avoid flying on Fridays, when the number of cancelled flights is at its highest. Additionally, AirHelp says, you’ll want to refrain from travelling between 4pm – 9:59pm, which is the time period that flights are most likely to be cancelled (regardless of which day of the week it is).

Days of the week with the most flight cancellations

  1. Friday
  2. Thursday
  3. Wednesday
  4. Saturday
  5. Sunday
  6. Monday
  7. Tuesday

Read: Worst airports for flight delays and cancellations

What is the cheapest day of the week to book flights?

You may have heard the myth that Tuesdays are the best day to book flights to get the cheapest deal. According to CheapAir, there is no magical cheapest day of the week to book flights. Their data showed that the average low fare only varied by about $1 over the course of a week.

When do you tend to book flights? Can you typically travel when it’s cheaper? Let us know in the comments section below.

Written by Ellie Baxter

Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.

One Comment

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  1. Just observations from my experiences. Do your own checking.

    Booking flights – keep an Excel spreadsheet and check your flights on a regular basis for at least 3 years before you want to leave & return. This is to gauge the cheapest time to book the flights.

    Eg: I’m looking at doing a Summer holiday in the UK/Ireland, travelling on the first Thursday in July and returning the Tuesday before the 12 week period is up (to make it home on the Thursday at the end of the 12 weeks, as it takes 2 days to travel home).
    Searching for the complete journey would be from at least the middle of October (when the return journeys become available). Make sure you’re returning before our daylight savings begins, check the timetables for further information, as most will advise you of the time of your arrival on your search.

    I found in 2013 that booking my fares in late January, I got 2 Upper Class (business/first with Virgin Atlantic) to be $12,663.66 at the same time BA & Qantas had their Premium Economy seats on sale for $14,500. Which one would you go for? Coming back to the subject, I compared Flight Centre’s prices, rang them up, took a copy of the printout from that day, and after them checking & price matching, got the fares for $1 cheaper, put it on EFT (changed my limit before going to FC, then changed it back again soon after), with no extra fees, etc. So happy.

    It really does pay to ‘shop around’, and be firm with the day & time you want to leave and return. I’d rather do an afternoon flight, as by the time you do the morning flight, and having to wait in Singapore for the connecting one to London, you’d have around 29-30 hours in transit, and taking the same connecting plane as you’d have travelled on if you left in the afternoon, arriving in London at the same time. This would also involve travelling on 2 different airlines, with 2 different luggage allowances.

    BA have the following allowances: Most of the others
    Economy – 1 x 23kg 30kg (7kg more)
    Premium Economy – 2 x 23kg 35kg (11kg less)
    Business – 2 x 32kg 40kg (24kg less)
    First – 3 x 32kg 45kg (51kg less)
    Then you’ve got your frequent flyer status to consider, too.

    Do your own research and find out for yourself 🙂

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