Jovo Jovanovic

What Is The Best Time Of Day To Buy A Plane Ticket?

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Going somewhere? If you're flying, you're probably wondering what the best time of day to buy a plane ticket is to get the cheapest flight. If so, you're not alone. The theory that certain times of the day grant better flight deals is an often-debated topic. Travel experts tend to disagree on the specifics, but I think that if you try a few different TODs, you just might happen upon a dreamy ticket price.

Tuesday At 3.pm. ET

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In general, Tuesday seems to be like a winning day of the week. However, according to FareCompare.com, 3.pm. ET tends to be the sweet spot time-wise.

They say,

The reason is many airlines release weekly airfare sales early on Tuesday; by mid-afternoon, competing airlines have matched these sale prices and shoppers will have the most good deals to choose from.

Wednesday At 1 a.m. In The Airline Hub's Timezone

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Travel expert Peter Greenberg reports that just after midnight on Tuesday, airlines put up tons of discounted fares, making it prime time to score a low price.

According to Greenberg,

Most low airfares seem to appear between Sunday night and Monday night. And then, when people find those fares, they have 24 hours in which to purchase them. At midnight Tuesday, all the discount fares that weren't purchased come flooding back into the airline's computer systems. And that's when you strike.

Just keep in mind that we're talking about 1 a.m. wherever the airline is based. For instance, JetBlue is based in New York (ET), so if you're booking a flight from the West Coast, Wednesday at 1 a.m. is actually Tuesday at 10 p.m. A quick google search can give you the time zone you're looking for!

Does A Best Time Of Day Even Exist?

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Ask George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchdog, and he'd tell you a swift "no." In an interview with Condé Nast Traveler, Hobica was adamant that no such time exists. He said,

Don't listen to anyone who says there's a magic time or day to buy airfare. There is no secret time. You need to look four times a day — minimum — every day of the week, as far in advance as you can.

Every. Day. Whenever you can. That's the secret formula.

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No matter where you stand on the topic, it's clear that finding a great ticket price takes time. If all else fails, try using travel apps for cheap flights to increase your chances.

Good luck, travelers!