What strategies does Google Flights propose to save money

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There are many ways to save money on plane tickets. But booking a plane ticket on a specific day of the week isn’t one of them, according to data from Google Flights. Booking midweek – and especially Tuesday around midnight – is often cited as the best time to buy flights. But over the past five years, U.S. airfares purchased on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday averaged just 1.9 percent cheaper than airfares purchased on the weekend, according to Google Flights, CNBC reports.

“If your trip is just a few weeks away, don’t wait for Tuesday to roll around — book your flight now,” Google Flights group product manager James Byers wrote in a blog post published yesterday .

Strategies that work

While the day of the week you book your trip may not matter much, the day you fly does, according to research by Google Flights, which examined five years of historical flight data from August 1, 2017 to August 1, 2022.

“On average, flights departing on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday were 12% cheaper than weekend departures,” Byers wrote. “If you exclude international destinations, the potential savings increase even more to 20%.”

Another common strategy – early booking – also works according to the data. For US domestic flights, airfares were lowest between three and eight weeks before the departure date.

Non-stop flights cost on average about 20% more than connecting flights, according to Google Flights, but connecting flights also increase the risk of disruption.

An Instagram survey by travel insurance company World Nomads found that more than 1 in 3 respondents spent up to $250 on flights, meals or hotels due to flight delays or cancellations this summer, while 12 % reported spending between $500 and $1,000.

More ways to save

Travelers with flexible flight days can use Google Flights’ “date grid” feature to quickly find the cheapest departure and arrival dates in a given week.

Those who want to travel for a certain duration – say two weeks – but are flexible about when, can use the “price chart” function to see the cheapest flight times as well.

Price tracking also eliminates the need to search again and again to check the price of the route you want. Search the route once, press the button to “track prices”, and Google Flights will send you notifications about changes in airfares via email.

“Best times” to book

Based on its historical data, Google Flights also suggests “best times” to book flights for peak travel and popular routes.

When to book a flight

Photo: CNBC

Travelers hoping to save money on air tickets to Europe are advised to plan their trip well in advance, while those looking to travel during the summer holidays should make their plans weeks, rather than months, in advance.