Money Tip: When to buy?

When to buy tickets?

Most people who know anything about buying airplane tickets know that Tuesday afternoon (at about 3pm) is the best time to purchase them. This is because the airline companies lower their prices at the beginning of the week to entice buyers. When airline A lowers its prices for a ticket, other airlines will follow suit in order to compete effectively. If there are only 10 people going to Cancun a certain week and Airline A has $20 tickets while the competitors have $300 tickets, guess who gets all the customers AND all the money that there is to get? (hint:Airline A). However, the airlines can’t keep prices too low for too long or else buyers will take all of them AND have paid less than they may have been actually willing to pay. So, eventually the prices start climbing again, that towards the end of the week, they are usually considerable higher than they were at the beginning.

The stealthy game owes its existence to the computer operated ticket-sellers that command the prices during weekends (when workers are at home spending time with families and such). The computers use algorithms that leave prices high to maximize profit until Mondays, when human workers adjust prices for competitiveness.

Of course this game gets trickier depending on demand. Waiting until the last minute can be a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow or it could spell disaster for your travel plans and your bankbook!

When to fly?

No one likes waking up early in the morning to catch a flight, making it the perfect time of day in which to fly. Chances are, you may be the only one of 20 people on a 40-seat plane, translating into a more favorably priced ticket than full flights.
Similarly, there are actually good days on which to fly. Tuesdays (#1), Wednesdays, and Sundays are the cheapest to fly on. This is because most business travelers want to get home from their work related travel. So they tend to be more willing to fork over a couple extra twenties in order to fly out on a Friday. Also, the reverse is true for Sundays, when business travelers need to get back to work or college kids or other vacationers need to get back to school from weekend getaways. This makes Friday and Sunday the worst days to buy tickets!


3 thoughts on “Money Tip: When to buy?”

    1. Yeah, a lot of the tickets did go down, but you’re right; some didn’t. It seems like its’s shifting more towards Wednesday mornings for some. The majority of them, however, do still seem to hover on Tuesday evening, so it’s probably best to at least start searching for purchases at that time.

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