Are Tuesdays still the best day to book flights? Here's what major travel platforms found.

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It’s the age-old question about travel: What is the best day of the week to buy airfare?

For the longest time, it’s been said that prices surge on the weekends and travelers should wait until Tuesday to book their flights, but how true is that these days?

Now that airfare has become more expensive – flights from major U.S. airports cost 29% more on average this year than in 2021 – knowing the answer could mean the difference between saving some serious dollars.

USA TODAY asked three major travel platforms – Expedia, Hopper and Google Flights – what they found to be the best day for travelers to book flights based on their data.

Here’s what they said.

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What is the best day to book flights?

Unfortunately, there’s not a point in choosing a specific day of the week to buy airfare as the savings are only marginal, if any, according to Hopper and Google Flights.

An analysis of flight costs initially published in 2022 found that airfare purchased on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays has only been 1.9% cheaper than those bought on weekends for the past six years. A Google Flights spokesperson confirmed with USA TODAY that this data holds true as of June 2024.

Instead, there are other factors that impact airfare pricing much more. “While everyone wants a golden rule for the best day of the week to book a flight – the reality is that the best day, and time, to book a flight depends on a number of factors,” said Hayley Berg, Hopper’s lead economist, in an email to USA TODAY.

“We tested this out and looked at the best day of the week to book for a number of popular trips and Tuesday was the cheapest day just 1% of the time,” she said. “The best price might be available on Tuesday – but it might be available on another day of the week.”

However, Expedia did come up with a surprising answer contrary to popular belief: Book your flight on the weekend, particularly Sunday, according to its 2024 Air Travel Hacks report published in September 2023.

“Travelers saved an average of 13% compared to those who book on Fridays (the most expensive day),” Expedia travel expert Christie Hudson told USA TODAY in an email. The findings came from “billions of data points” from the Airlines Reporting Corporation and OAG, a data platform for the global travel industry, Hudson added.

Although you can wait until Sunday or avoid Friday to book, other factors are far more important in securing the best deal on your airfare.

Tips to save money on airfare

Berg recommends people monitor flight prices with tools like Hopper or Capital One Travel and aim to book domestic flights between one and three months before departure and international flights between four and five months before departure. “Don’t leave booking too late; prices can increase by hundreds in the final weeks before departure,” she said.

According to Expedia’s report, travelers who purchase their domestic flight 28 days in advance pay 24% less on average than last-minute bookings.

Instead of the day you book impacting costs, it’s the day you fly out that matters to score cheap airfare. Flying out in the middle of the week instead of the weekend can save travelers an average of 18% on domestic summer airfare, Hopper found. For international trips, the savings can be even more – the platform found that flying to Europe this summer on a Tuesday or Wednesday can save $435 per ticket.

Google Flights agrees. On average, flights on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday are 12% cheaper than those on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at kwong@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Do flight prices go down on Tuesday? Here’s what travel research shows