Expert Reveals the Best Time and Day to Get Cheap Flights

I swear some people have all the luck when it comes to booking cheap flights. I am not one of those people. In most circumstances, when I need to fly, I wait too long, miss out on the sales, need to fly on certain dates that are (for some reason) triple the price or, lately, have my booking cancelled entirely.

I definitely don’t have Flyer’s Luck.

Best Time and Day to Get Cheap Flights

But an expert at Expedia has shared some inside knowledge with Mum Central that may help bring luck to your side when booking your next family escape.

Expedia Australia Managing Director, Daniel Finch explains that booking on a certain day and flying on a certain day can save you as much as 20%. Plus, there’s a specific time frame to best book and there’s even the best time to fly to reduce the risk of the dreaded flight cancellation.

Here’s what you need to know before booking your next family holiday.

best day and time to get cheap flights
Source: Supplied to Mum Central

In general, prices are crazy high. From 2022 to 2023, we’ve seen a spike of 20% in the price of economy flights and 17% in business flights. If you’re looking at flying overseas, let’s say to LA, this price increase could mean you’re spending around $2,000 more on flights for the whole family. Even if flying domestic, for a family of five, this increase will be around $200.

The best day to book for cheap flights: SUNDAY 

The experts have announced that booking airfare on a Sunday can save up to 20%. This is compared specifically to Friday, which is the most expensive day to book.

The best time to book to cheap flights: 14 WEEKS PRIOR 

Booking domestic flights at least 14 weeks and international flights at least a month before travel can ensure you get the best price.  Travellers who booked their domestic flights at least 14 weeks prior to departure saved 20% on average compared to those who waited until the last minute. International airfares tend to be rather stable during the 6 months period prior to travel. However, for optimal availability, selection and savings, book at least a month out.

mum centralTOP TIP: Sign up for Price Tracking. Expedia has an App that does this but you can also do it via Google. Basically, you get an email when the price drops or increases on any flight you’re watching. I did this with a recent flights to Canada and we got it for $6,000 cheaper than what the initial price was. I was blown away – my first Flyer’s Luck moment ever!

The best day to fly for cheap flights: FRIDAY

While booking on a Sunday is best, departing on a Sunday is worse. Instead, leave on a Friday where you can save up to 23%.

The best time to fly: AFTER 3 PM

The early morning and mid-morning flights are often best for work-related travel but did you know they are also the ones most likely to be cancelled? Departing after 3pm will reduce your chance of cancellations.

Flights that depart before 3 p.m. have an 18% higher chance, on average, of being cancelled than those that depart later in the day.

mum centralTOP TIP: Sign up for airline membership. Even if you don’t travel often, it’s completely worth the two minutes it takes to sign up. Jetstar’s membership is $55 a year but I find it worth it as the flights are often $10-15 cheaper per person and you save on baggage too. Even if you’re only flying once or twice a year, I found it worth it. Or, if you’re not a member, make sure you get the emails as you’ll be informed if there are any sales coming up.

The best month to travel: MAY

Cancellations are also the lowest in the month of May.

The worst month to travel: February 

While cancellations are highest in February. This is also the case with delays.

mum centralTOP TIP: Flight cancellations this year have been terrible. I swear almost every one of my flights this year has either been changed or cancelled. While you do get your money back, it’s the added hotel, hire car costs, etc that can hurt, not to mention the fact that you WANT to go on holiday.

What I recommend is always booking a hotel that offers free cancellation or last-minute cancellation just in case your flight is cancelled and you’re unable to find an affordable alternative. And travel insurance is so important, especially if you’re flying overseas. Seriously, don’t fly without it when leaving the country and the luxury of Medicare!

Most popular international destinations in 2023

  1. Denpensaur (Bali), Indonesia
  2. Bangkok, Thailand
  3. London, UK
  4. Singapore
  5. Auckland, New Zealand
  6. Los Angeles, USA
  7. Phuket, Thailand
  8. Tokyo, Japan
  9. Nadi, Fiji
  10. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hopefully, this insider knowledge will help you when booking your next family holiday and, fingers crossed, you benefit from Flyer’s Luck!

What to read next

Sourced from: ARC’s global airline sales database.


Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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