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February 07, 2022

Tuesday, Wednesday cheapest days to fly: report

When searching for cheap airfare, Canadian consumers don’t know what to think anymore.

Istockphoto_10749447-airplane-on-a-sunny-day Not unlike Christina Aguilera being told to, sure, take your own spin on the national anthem, we’ve been bogged down by what perhaps we shouldn’t believe. There are so many supposedly-etched-in-stone commandments out there that there’s only one way to ensure we’re not paying through the nose for travel: shop around.

Of course, no one wants to actually do that, so we clamour for the best advice we can find. Add this latest report to the lexicon of strategies and tactics to find travelers the lowest cost on airfare.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which echoes a popular refrain among savvy fliers, airline tickets will almost absolutely be cheaper when the departure date falls on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

No shocking claim here – travel dates surrounding weekends are most popular and, therefore, subject to airlines charging a premium on them – but this is the roar that seems to be getting loudest within the confusing world of “when should you buy airfare?”

Indeed, other common airfare shopping strategies are faltering under the tried-and-true mid-week buying outlook. No longer is it a case of should you buy way in advance or should you buy last minute (although, almost always, it’s best to buy way in advance) but what day should you choose to depart.

The WSJ quotes a range of Tuesday/Wednesday price examples in its story on the matter, finding that ticket costs on those two days can be discounted by anywhere between 15%-25% compared to other days of the week.

In Canada, too, such a prophecy seems to hold true. Take this hypothetical flight scenario from Toronto to Las Vegas with WestJet, for instance. On Sunday, Feb. 27, you’d be paying $348.99, $299 on Monday, Feb. 28 and $258.99 on Friday, Mar. 4. On the Tuesday and Wednesday between those dates, the Vegas flight can be yours for $209, non-stop. WestJet also advertises a seat sale fare on the Tuesday for only $139.

Certainly all trips may not fit such cash-saving criteria, but of all the flight plan wisdoms we have, the “Tuesday and Wednesday is cheaper” strategy appears to endure best.

When you fly, when do you find is the cheapest day for airfare?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...