International Airfares: The Day You Fly and When You Buy Matter

In last month’s issue of Dream of Italy’s paid newsletter, I told readers that now makes predictions on fare changes on international routes. It is a great tool for that age old question, “When should I buy my plane tickets?” The company has come out with some great tips for playing the international fare game this summer, especially since prices are up 10% over last summer:

  • Choosing the right day of the week to fly can significantly impact fares. The most expensive day to depart is Saturday, while the least expensive days are Tuesday and Wednesday. Flying Tuesday to Tuesday can save a family of four $220, or $55
    per ticket, on average.
  • For peak summer travel (early June through late July), buying early or late is the best strategy to get the lowest price on airfare.
  • For travel to Europe in July or August, consumers could wait as little as one or two months before departure and hold out for mid-summer sales. In 2007, this strategy worked well for travel to London (LHR), but was riskier for popular destinations such as Paris (CDG) or Rome (FCO).
  • For domestic and European trips in late-August or September, consumers can wait for
    end-of-summer sales which happened throughout July last year for domestic
    travel, and at the end of July for European travel.
  • When planning a multi-country tour, shop less popular airports as your starting point. For example, fares to London (LHR) are typically $200 less than tickets to Paris or Rome, while Madrid (MAD) can be an affordable alternative.