CheapAir data shows that Memorial Day Weekend is the start of summer travel planning for many eager vacationers. People will book their warm-weather getaways with gusto starting this week, so get those deals while they’re hot (no pressure)! To help you with decision making, for the second year in a row CheapAir has compiled a handy-dandy Summer Flight Trends Report that will take aggravating guesswork out of the planning process and ensure that you score the best summer flight deals at the right time! How do we do this, you ask? Well, we got all of our best data geek minds together and tracked 11,000 airfares for flights each day between June 1 and September 15, 2015. Then we uncovered the best days to fly and crafted some nifty airfare charts for you to browse. Summer brings out the lazy in all of us, but look alive, dear summer traveler! To nab the best deals you’ll need to strike while the iron is hot, because these deals won’t last!

family on the beach

The Best Days of the Week to Fly
Here’s one simple tip that most passengers overlook. CheapAir data shows there are better days during the week than others to fly. During the summer months, vacation planning often includes a Sunday return to ensure the most time off (Saturdays and Sundays are the traditional weekend days for most work schedules). You’d better believe that the airlines know this and generally increase the cost of flights on those days. Not to mention, many business travelers travel on Sunday to reach their destination by Monday morning. For your summer trip, consider flying back on Saturday instead and you’ll save money.

CheapAir Average Fare by day of the week

A much more economical plan is to fly midweek. On average, our summer flight data indicates that flying on a Wednesday is $74 cheaper than flying on a Sunday. That may not seem significant until you start examining the typical family vacation. A family of four will save nearly $300 on average for their summer vacation flights just by traveling on a Tuesday or Wednesday. That’s the cost of a couple hotel rooms, or a fancy dinner for four! Seems to be a no-brainer when you can swing a midweek departure and return. The money you save might be the difference between taking a vacation this summer and thinking you can’t afford it!

Late Summer Gets the Biggest Bang for Your Buck
The best fares for Summer 2015 can be found in September (followed by late August). As you might imagine, the most inexpensive rates tend to relate to how far in advance tickets get purchased, and the data bears this out. This year, we found the optimal time to buy an airline ticket was 47 days in advance, on average. However, the lowest summer airfares are usually found 100+ days in advance. Use our tips and start planning now, and you’ll be lounging poolside at your destination in no time!

117 Comments

  1. Hello! I’m fairly new on flight fares and such, the only information I have gotten is from some close relatives. I am planning to travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil to visit a loved one. Preferably sometime in Jul 19th – Aug 7th of next year, would now be a good time to book the flight? and if it is, how long do I have until the prices sky rocked again? Thank you for taking your time to answer my question!

  2. Hi,
    Fairly new here! I plan to travel with my wife to Pennsylvania (from Abuja, Nigeria) for a conference. We could not book well ahead and are staring at a late departure – 27 July to return 11 August. What’s the best deal we can get given it’s obviously peak of summer? Grateful to get your response

    • Hi Okahnge, Yes it’s a bit late for finding low fares. Lufthansa has a set of flights available for around $1600 USD for your dates. That is the best I see available right now, and that does require a 7 hour layover in Frankfurt. If you’d like more information about that flight pairing, please do let us know.

  3. i intend to visit Newark somewhere middle of july from chennai, india and return to chennai from Newark around 25th september 2018. number of travellers 2. pl. advice me the cheapest air fare.

    • Hello Kiru, It looks like Emirates has flights to Newark around your dates for around $1000 USD. I can give you more detailed information if that prices sounds good to you. Please let us know!

  4. HI there, we’re planning a trip to Cancun for a week towards end of June ’18. When is the best time to purchase tickets? If that time hasn’t already passed.
    Thank you for your help

  5. Hi I’m planning to go to Cancun summer 2019, preferably in mid August but I’m open to the idea of going June or July. I was wondering when would be the best time to purchase a flight (As inexpensive as possible) for each month; June July & August? From NYC & preferably nonstop.

    Also looking to go to Las Vegas December 2019. Preferably after the 15th but could be before or after Christmas. From NYC. How many months ahead would be the best time to purchase a flight to Vegas in December?

    Thanks so much!!

    • Hi Stephanie, Good news for you all around. The high season is winding down in Cancun by August so you will definitely see good prices in August over June or July. Flights for 2019 are not even on sale yet (they go on sale about 11 months from travel dates), but you shouldn’t have a problem getting a good fare since you’re planning ahead. We make recommendations every year for when you should buy tickets to international travel destinations. Our 2019 predictions will be out in the spring of next year. Las Vegas flights are pretty much always a good deal – even last minute. The one caveat for December travel would be if you were planning to fly during Christmas week. In that case, I would buy early – even a few months out. Flights for Christmas week are going to be priced at a premium to begin with, and then only go up from there. Hope this helps!

  6. I am looking for flights from Stl Mo to Miami for a family of 5, July 28 departure and return date of Aug 5th.

    • Hi Katie, check out our Summer Flights page for some general information about flight costs and tips: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/summer-flights/. You’ll see that July is the most expensive month for travel, though your departure date is a pretty good one. The return date (because it’s ona Sunday) will likely make your overall flight cost be a bit higher than it would be if you had the flexibility to fly mid-week. Because you’re looking for 5 tickets and I assume you might have some younger kids on the flight, you should probably start a serious search as soon as you can. If you’re flying with older kids and don’t mind people being split up in seating, you can afford to wait a bit longer. Right now it looks like the best fares are on American for $372 round trip (nonstop flights).

  7. Hi I’m Mackenzie. I’m trying to find a cheap very last minute one way ticket from Anchorage to Seattle for the 11th or 18th of this month. I haven’t been able to find any cheap fares under 300. This is very urgent, thank you!!

    • Hi Mackenzie, I don’t see anything close to $300 on the 11th, but I do see a fare on Alaska Air on the 18th for $314.

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