Here’s Why Wednesday is the Best Day to Fly

published Oct 29, 2022
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In 2022, finding the best airfare deals can feel like an uphill battle, especially as the pandemic era continues to upend travel trends as we once knew them. But according to a new report from travel company Expedia, you can stick to one travel hack to guarantee lower flight prices: leave on a Wednesday.

“In general, travelers who started a trip on a Wednesday, versus the beginning of the week  (Sundays or Mondays) saved, on average, 15 percent on domestic flights,” Expedia said. “For international flights, travelers who departed on a Wednesday instead of during the weekend (Saturdays or Sundays) saved 10 percent on average.”

To come to this conclusion, the company rounded up average roundtrip ticket prices for flights beginning in the U.S. from January through August 2022, courtesy of Airlines Reporting Corporation’s global airline sales database.

As Expedia pointed out, Wednesday hasn’t always been the most cost-effective departure date. Previously, travelers could count on Friday departures for the cheapest ticket prices.

This finding was just one element of Expedia’s 2023 air travel hacks report, which seeks to help U.S. travelers navigate holiday travel as painlessly as possible.

The company recommends booking flights on Sundays, when travelers can save, on average, 5% on domestic flights and 15% on international flights. Expedia also recommends booking a domestic flight at least a month in advance, which can save travelers an average of 10%. Unsurprisingly, international flights require a bit more planning. Travelers should book those flights around six months in advance to save around 10% on airfare.

Of course, what time you leave also matters. Expedia found that it’s best to depart before 3 p.m. to reduce a chance of cancellations.

“Travelers that want the best chance for smooth travel should aim for early flights,” the company said. “Based on year-to-date flight status data, flights that depart after 3 p.m. have the highest chance of being canceled — a 50% higher chance, on average, than those that depart earlier in the day.”

You can view the rest of Expedia’s air travel tips here.