Searching Often is the Key to Lower Ticket Prices

Some say the secret to snagging low airfare prices is by purchasing tickets on a particular day. This magical day, however, changes from time to time based on projected airline trends. The latest research pegs weekends as the best time to find deals on airfare, although deals can occur virtually any time as airlines adjust prices as they see fit.

Sunday is the Best Day to Book Flights

Recent research from Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corporation shows Sunday as the day when airfare discounts are most likely. Their joint report, New Heights for Air Travel, studied 2016 global air-travel data to predict the best days to buy tickets, as well as the pricing based on how far ahead a flight is booked. Compared to other days of the week, booking on Sundays results in airfares costing at least 10 percent less than average prices for the same flight, according to the study. The best-booked-on-Sundays pricing applies to flights within the United States, as well as from the United States to Europe or Asia.

Check Flight Prices Frequently

Although Sunday tends to be the day of the deals, a discounted price on airfare can show up at any time. Start checking prices as soon as you know when you want to travel. Search for flight options several days in a row to note any price changes, as airlines tend to tweak prices quite a bit. Don't necessarily wait until Sunday to book the flights, as a deal that pops up on Thursday may not exist by Sunday.

What About Tuesday?

Tuesday is cherished by some as a day to get good airfare deals, although this day isn't really the best any more, according to airline data research noted in the Expedia study. This doesn't mean Tuesdays should be ruled out of airfare searches, however; a discount can show up virtually any time, especially for travel that isn't near a holiday or peak travel season for the destination.

Forget About Fridays

The same New Heights for Air Travel noted Friday as the worst day to book flights, as far as obtaining a good deal. Many business travelers book flights on Fridays, resulting in airfare rates that tend to stay high throughout the day, according to the report. If planning a trip far in advance, checking a price on Friday helps set a benchmark for future comparison on another day.

Book Well in Advance for Best Deals

Booking a flight at least three weeks in advance typically saves a load of cash. Booking a flight 21 days or farther out from the departure date can save up to 30 percent compared to the exact same flight options booked closer to the date of departure, according to the study. Don't give up on spontaneity, however. Flying to another continent may yield great deals when booked just days in advance.