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Expedia Revealed The Best Day To Book Cheap Tickets, Avoid Delays & Other Travel Hacks

It all comes down to timing. ✈️

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Expedia Revealed The Best Day To Book Cheap Tickets, Avoid Delays & Other Travel Hacks

You no longer have to wing it when it comes to booking flights ahead of the holiday season. Much like a smiling air stewardess directing you to a seat, Expedia has released a series of travel hacks based on its own ticket sales and the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) database to help you find the right day and time to get the lowest airline prices and minimize dealing with flight delays and cancellations. Here are some ways to ensure sky-high savings:

Which day are flights the cheapest to book?

Travelers who book their flights on Sunday (instead of Friday) can save around 15% on tickets for domestic flights and 10% on international flights. That's based on the average price for return flights between January and August 2022, collected by ARC's database of global airline sales.

Which day is cheapest to fly in Canada?

Domestic flights that leave on Friday are up to 20% cheaper. You'll want to skip Saturday to Monday departures unless you're willing to pay more. Thursdays are a good option for international travellers, who save an average of 10% on airfare. Wednesday departures saved 5%, but Sunday and Monday were the most expensive days to fly based on ARC's average return airfare data collected from January to August 2022.

How far in advance should I book a flight?

Expedia recommends booking at least two months before a domestic flight to save an average of 40% on the price of your ticket. People who wait until a month before their flight end up paying much more, but so do those who are extra eager. The travel company doesn't advise booking more than 100 days in advance since domestic airfares can be more expensive between four and five months before departure. The best prices for in-country flights get listed around 71 days before take-off.

For international flights, airfare is cheapest three months in advance and those who book within that window save around 10% on tickets. "Last-minute flight deals are increasingly rare," based on Expedia’s price-tracking data.

Which departure time is the best to avoid flight cancellations and delays?

Morning flights between 3 a.m. and 3 p.m. are less likely to be cancelled. Afternoon flights leaving after 3 p.m. are, on average, 15% more likely to be cancelled.

You can also hedge your bets by avoiding peak travel periods. Flight delays were about 40 minutes shorter between February and May, compared to busier summer months.

Cancellations dropped from around 10% at the start of the year to around 4% by August. The positive trend is expected to continue in 2023 leading to an overall reduced risk of flight disruptions. “While the recovery has been volatile, our data indicates that travel is beginning to normalize and travelers are once again taking advantage of the ability to travel by air,” said Chuck Thackston, ARC Managing Director of Data Science and Research.

Even if you can't follow all of the above tips, Expedia recommends bundling airfare, hotel and car bookings as a travel hack to save hundreds of dollars on a trip. Signing up for frequent flier programs can also be a good way to save since customers can earn air miles on top of Expedia points, and rack up travel rewards, by entering mileage plan numbers at checkout.

    Sofia Misenheimer
    MTL Blog, Associate Editor
    Sofia Misenheimer is an Associate Editor for MTL Blog focused on gas prices in Montreal and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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