Friday is ‘National Cheap Flight Day’… or is it?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — August 23rd is National Cheap Flight Day.  It’s a day that promises to offer travelers a steal on airfare deals.

Created in 2015, National Cheap Flight Day is believed to be the day that both domestic and international airfare will hit their lowest rates.

According to online travel agency CheapOair, it’s because fewer people travel during late summer and early fall.

Families have returned from summer vacations and they aren’t traveling yet for the holidays.

“Coming off the expensive summer travel season, this four-week period is often overlooked as more consumers are focused on returning to their normal work and school schedules.  It’s really the perfect time to get a jump on holiday travel plans as prices will begin to climb by late September,” said Sam S. Jain, Founder and CEO of Fareportal, the corporation that owns CheapOair.

The idea is that low prices on airfare will grab the attention of potential travelers who won’t be able to pass on a great deal.

CheapOair says that fares will be at their lowest prices for about the next month.

Then prices will start to increase and peak around Thanksgiving.

Sounds good, right?  Not so fast.

Scott Keyes is the founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights. The company is a subscription service that searches for cheap flights and will send you alerts on airfare deals.

Keyes says his company is seeing affordable flight deals year-round, not just on August 23rd.

“Cheap flights can pop up anytime,” said Keyes.  “They’re unpredictable.”

Keyes goes on to say that his team found $98 roundtrip flights to Hawaii in March.  In June they notified subscribers to $280 roundtrip flights to China.  According to Keyes, there wasn’t any advance notice on the cheap flights his company found this year.

“So while the bad news is that there’s no single cheapest day of the year to start booking flights, there’s also good news,” says Keyes.  “It’s never been cheaper to fly overseas as it is today.”

While there may not be a secret day and time to find the best prices on airfare, there are a few rules you can follow to make sure you’re getting a decent deal.

    • Research flight prices as early as possible.  You won’t know if you’ve stumbled on a great price if you don’t know what prices for the flight normally are.
    • Set an alert.  Use a program such as Google Flights to set up a free alert.  Just enter your travel info and select the dates you want to fly.  Google will email you an alert if the price of your flight drops.
    • The easiest way to save a lot of money on airfare is to be flexible with your travel dates and times.  Tickets will be cheaper if you’re flying somewhere during the off-season.
    • Check airports in surrounding cities.  It may be worth your time and money to fly into either a smaller, or a larger airport, and take a train or Uber to your final destination.

You also need to book early, if you can.  According to Nomadic Matt, an author, travel blogger and avid traveler, the sweet spot for a great deal is 6-8 weeks before your trip.  If you’re traveling during a location’s peak season plan on booking three months before you leave.  If you’re traveling internationally, you may need to stretch booking out to eight months.

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