By FlexMedStaff

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Traveling can be a pain in the A$$. Booking flights and trying to save money can also be a pain in the A$$. Business travel is not back to pre-Covid levels, but travel for pleasure is returning to pre-Covid levels. Airports are busy again, and planes are full, leading to more expensive airline tickets. Combine this with staffing shortages seen throughout the airline industry and worsening weather patterns nationwide; all travelers should be concerned about the percentage of delayed and canceled flights.

This article provides advice on ways to save money when booking domestic flights and ways to minimize travel delays.

When to book flights?

Make sure to book domestic flights 3-10 weeks in advance. The lowest ticket price is approximately six weeks before the scheduled departure.

When to avoid booking flights?

Avoid booking a flight less than three weeks from the scheduled departure. The reason is that airlines may think you are a business traveler and may want to charge more.

How much time between connecting flights?

Not always possible, but you should have at least a one-hour layover, preferably two hours. Remember that gate doors close 15 minutes before departure, and the number of delays has risen since the pandemic. Simply put, give yourself enough time to catch your next flight.

Are there last-minute deals?

If demand for flights is low, then you will be able to discover last-minute deals. This is hit or miss.

What is the best day of the week to book flights?

Google Analysis determined that booking flights Monday-Friday is likely cheaper by only 2% on average. The ticket prices may be actively managed more during the week, leading to better deals.

What is the worst day of the week to book flights?

Booking flights on Saturday and Sunday can be more expensive for some. Google Analysis showed that booking flights over the weekend are only a bit more expensive. The advice here is to book flights over the weekend if you are thinking about it, as you never know if the price will go up the following week.

What is the cheapest day of the week to fly?

Per Google, flying on Tuesday or Wednesday can save you up to 20%. Saturday flights will be cheaper than Friday and Sunday.

Are direct flights cheaper?

No, non-stop flights can be up to 20% more expensive than connecting flights. It would be best if you weighed the expense of adding stops to your travels compared with paying slightly more for a direct, non-stop flight.

What is the cheapest flight of the day?

The first and last flights of the day are usually the cheapest. The demand for flights during the late morning and early afternoon are most popular, thus more expensive.

What is the cheapest time of year to fly?

Flights in September and October may be the cheapest as this may be the ultimate shoulder season to fly. To save money on summer travel, consider traveling end of May to mid-June. For spring travel, consider early February or late April. 

What days of the week have the greatest risk of flight delays?

Monday and Friday are known to have the highest rate of flight delays, up to 30% per Huffington Post.

Which airline has the least delays and cancellations?

Alaska and Delta airlines are the best USA-based airlines for avoiding delays and cancellations on domestic flights. Of the larger USA-based airlines, American, United, and Southwest airlines are the next best at avoiding delays. 

What airports have the highest rate of delays and cancellations?

Newark, Orlando, LaGuardia, Fort Lauderdale, and Washington National are known to be the worst. This is based on statistical and anecdotal data.  

When is it the worst to get through TSA?

This is very dependent on which airport you fly out of. TSA lines are generally the longest at 4-5 am, 9-10 am, and 6-9 pm.

When are airports the busiest?

Airports are busiest on Monday, Friday, and Sunday.

When are airports the slowest?

Airports are slowest on Tuesday and Wednesday, thus making it easier to get in and out of airports on these days.

Final thoughts:

Based on the information in this article, you should consider scheduling flights early on Tuesday or Wednesday morning to get the cheapest tickets and travel on days the airports are less busy. It would be best if you also considered booking your flights during the week approximately six weeks in advance. This advice hopefully will get you the cheapest flights and minimize the risk of delays and cancellations. And lastly, if you can avoid New York airports, you might be more likely to arrive at your destination on time.

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