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It’s National Cheap Flight Day! But Don’t Buy A Ticket Before Reading This

By Parker Diakite

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August 23 marks National Cheap Flight Day but despite the name of this unofficial consumer holiday, travel experts say it’s not the best time to purchase a cheap plane ticket.

National Cheap Flight Day began in 2015 and marks the day when airlines reduce ticket prices as the summer travel season ends. It’s tempting to buy a ticket on this consumer holiday but Scott Keyes, co-founder, and CEO of Scott’s Cheap Flights says the data that backs National Cheap Flight Day is flawed.

“Flights are generally less expensive in Fall than in Summer, you’ll get no argument from me,” Keyes told  CNBC Make It. “But that doesn’t mean you should wait to book all your flights until the end of August. The best day for flight deals last year doesn’t have any predictive power on what will be the best day for flight deals this year”

Keyes adds that the best flight deals will usually pop up at random. 

“The bad news is that there’s not any single cheapest day of the year to book flights, but the good news is that right now we’re living in the golden age of cheap flights,” he says.

There are things that consumers can do to ensure they are getting the best deals he explained to CNBC Make It:

Don’t Book Flights At The Last Minute

Those who plan ahead will get the best flights, according to  Keyes.   If you’re planning a domestic trip,  he recommends purchasing tickets one to three months in advance. Going abroad,  then book two-to-eight months ahead.

See A Deal?  Grab It

Keyes told CNBC Make It that in general, the better the deal, the less time it will likely last so, don’t delay in purchasing the ticket.

He also recommends setting up alerts for flights that you are considering, to ensure you don’t miss out on any good deals.

Be Cautious Of Budget Airlines

This is not to diss to budget airlines but keep Keyes says Airlines like Norwegian Air and Frontier will likely have cheaper flights than carriers like British Airways or Delta, but you’re probably going to give up some amenities and comforts in order to save that money.

He recommends carefully reviewing what’s actually included in the ticket price, including food and entertainment because the amenities could be extra (even on Transatlantic flights).

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