Booking flights is probably the most stressful thing ever. Before I found this little secret, I would have rather taken my Law and Ethics mid-term four times. How do you know you’re getting a good deal? When do you book a flight? Are there certain times of the day or certain days of the week to book a flight? How far in advance do you book a flight? Which airline do you choose? You’ve got all of these questions circling around in your head, and you go onto one of those flight comparison sites. Bad idea. Now, all of those questions are stressing you out and 4,289 windows just popped up giving you different flight information.
Not anymore! I’m going to let you in on my favorite flight secret ever: Matrix. Just plug in all of your information and on ONE single page, sorted by price, all accommodating airlines matching those dates will show up in a neat and organized spreadsheet. Easy!
What I would absolutely suggest would be to sign up for one airline’s flyer miles, and try to be loyal to that airline to build up your miles. My flights to and from Atlanta, Georgia were completely free on my U.S. Airways miles! Think of how much money you will save, and think of all of the perks you will eventually get. After about a year of having my U.S. Airways miles, I was upgraded to the Platinum level and now board the plane with Zone 1, have free unlimited First Class Upgrades when they are available, and my first checked bag is always free. Those three things alone just saved me about $100 or more. For a great directory and some advice on signing up for rewards memberships or cards, thank Travel and Leisure for their helpful tips!
When it comes to booking flights, I haven’t truly noticed a huge difference in regards to the time of day or the day of the week. What I normally try to do is book my flights no later or earlier than 4-6 weeks in advance. That probably has something to do with the fact that I don’t notice price changes too much. Booking flights less than 4 weeks in advance is extremely tough and you will probably end up with extremely expensive tickets.
If you do notice a change, experts have weighed in and all agree that booking on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons during the times of 2-4pm are the best. This is because airlines usually update their prices on Mondays, so by the time Tuesdays and Wednesdays roll around, they have seen each others prices and start to compete. The weekends, anyone, even me, will agree are the absolute worst times to try and book a flight. That’s because most people are home from work and have some free time to get their to-do lists completed.
Take a few minutes off from work to research your flights, and your wallet won’t be sorry!