What are the best days and times to book cheap plane tickets?


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Usually all travelers looking for or booking flights during this period face the same problem: plane ticket prices are more expensive now, some reaching the highest rates in recent years.

After the difficult years of the pandemic, which kept many planes on the ground, after the aviation personnel crisis, which resulted in numerous flight cancellations and delays, the industry has returned to normal. But this return to normality also brought a significant increase in fares for 2023, with travelers paying on average at least 15-20% more for a return ticket compared to last year.

On the other hand, this does not mean that all flights are more expensive. There are still many route options at affordable prices, the airlines still have promotional periods, so the secret is to know when, how and where to find them.

A study conducted by Vola in Romania, analyzed which are the cheapest days to book flights, but also which are the most effective tricks to travel in an affordable way.

Various statistics and reports frequently appear in which various travel booking trends are mentioned, but what is important to specify in their case is that, often, they are analyzed in a general way, not specifically for certain countries or regions. Therefore, it should not surprise us that the tricks recommended in the United States, for example, do not work at all for the European market, much less for the one in our country.

According to the study, the cheapest day to book plane tickets in Romania is Sunday, followed closely by Saturday. On the other hand, the days when we find the most expensive plane tickets are Wednesday and Thursday, so if you plan to make a flight reservation, it would be better to do it during the weekend.

Also, the cheapest day you can fly is Tuesday, if you are traveling alone, and Saturday, if you are traveling with at least one person.

According to Vola.ro data, the price of a flight Bucharest (Otopeni) – London on a Tuesday is 35 euros, while the price of a flight on the same route, but departing on a Thursday of the same week, is almost double: 74 euros. The situation is also valid for another destination, a Bucharest – Milan flight on a Tuesday costs 29 euros, but on a Thursday, the flight on the same route is 66 euros. There is also an optimal time interval to book tickets: every day, between 18:00 and 20:00.

Last but not least, according to the study, the best prices for flights from Romania are available at least 30-45 days in advance. If you book them less than 30 days before your trip, they could be up to 60% more expensive.

According to the calendar on Vola.ro, a flight Venice – Bucharest in May is now only 31 euros, 64% cheaper than it would cost if booked as close to the travel date as possible. If we analyze the situation of the most sought-after route by Romanian passengers, Bucharest – London, we notice that the average price for 2023 has increased from 20-40 euros in 2022, to 40-60 euros in 2023. The most expensive tickets are available in July , August and September, when the average prices per passenger can exceed 80 – 120 euros for a return plane ticket.

Travelers can also quickly find cheap flights through the Fare Calendar, which displays the best combinations of travel dates and cheap flights. If the travel dates are flexible, the option of +/- 3 days is also recommended, because the rates can vary enormously even from one day to the next, as the study carried out just now showed.

Another trick that travelers can use is the choice of connecting or combined flights, as can be found on Vola.ro. Their advantage is that they can be cheaper by up to 60% and that they offer the possibility of reaching even destinations to which there are no direct lines from Romania. The secret is to choose a city with a well-connected airport, connection node for many other destinations.

For example, a direct flight Bucharest – Frankfurt in April costs 230 euros, while a flight with a stopover, Bucharest – Timisoara and Timisoara – Frankfurt, costs 115 euros. On the Bucharest – Barcelona route, a direct flight in April costs 127 euros. By comparison, a flight to Barcelona with a stopover in Milan for the same time costs 77 euros.

For a cheaper trip, Romanians can waive hold luggage, which significantly increases the total price of the ticket. Many airlines offer the possibility of purchasing a larger cabin bag, a trolley that can be enough for a shorter stay. If hold luggage is necessary, Vola.ro recommends that it be added with the flight, because it can become more expensive by 20-30% from the very next day. Also, those who plan to travel in the next period must choose, as much as possible, round-trip flights, because one-way flights purchased separately are much more expensive.

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