The prices of air travel continues to rise with increasing fuel costs, charges for “premium” seats, baggage fees and other erroneous charges by airlines. Passengers are searching for ways to save money any way they can, including purchasing tickets well in advance but also pinpointing the day of the week when prices are at the lowest. So, what’s the best day, time and way to get the cheapest flights? According to CBS travel editor Peter Greenberg (a great source of information by the way) it is:
- At 12:01 am Tuesday night/Wednesday morning in the time zone of the place where the airline you are booking on is based.
- Via telephone – Contrary to popular belief, call the airline’s reservation line and speak to an agent. The excess inventory (the un-purchased tickets) shows back up in the airlines’ reservation systems FIRST. Now that I think about it, it makes sense that the airlines would have information on their own inventory before any other third-party.
So that’s the nitty-gritty of when, where, and how to get the cheapest airfares. You can stop reading here if you take everything for face value. However, if you’re anything like me and can’t help but do your own extra bit of research, double-check your newly acquired information. How?
Here’s your homework:
Test Peter’s recommendation out. This week. If you have an upcoming trip (hopefully more than 2 weeks out), set your phone’s alarm clock for 11:58 pm Tuesday night. By the time, you get the cold out of your eye, dial the airline’s number and get an agent on the phone, it should be 12:01 am Wednesday morning. If you’re a little early, just stall them until your clock says 12:01 am and then get pricing for your preferred flight. At the same time, check for the same flight from your computer and compare notes. See what you get. Come back and let me know what you find. I’ll be doing the same.