The best time to buy airline tickets!

The best time to buy airline tickets!

When is the best time to buy airline tickets?

With technology now being so advanced, being your very own travel agent has never been more effortless. Researching, planning and booking flights is now easier than ever. Travel information is readily available thanks to our world-wide-web and all we have to do is simply access it. Having so much travel information available is great, but do we really know when to use it? I’ve teamed up with Travelstart in a collaboration to give you important insight as to when is the best time to buy airline tickets!


Many people (travelers, tourists, travel enthusiasts and even travel agents) have numerous theories on how and when to purchase your airline tickets. I have researched and narrowed down essential tips on when is the best time to book and buy your airline tickets – locally and internationally.



Locally, flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town, and Cape Town to Johannesburg are the most popular. Among other popular destinations within South Africa are Durban, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay, George, East London and Sun City.


On the international destinations, London, Thailand, Bali and Mauritius are the most popular among South Africans – we love our beach holidays! However, more South Africans are venturing out to new, more exciting destinations such as Seychelles, Vietnam, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Dubai. If you’re looking to visit one of these destinations, make sure to check out the different types of visas you require.



Before we look at when is the best time to buy airline tickets, let’s look at what not to do:

  • Try to avoid booking flights on the weekends – this is especially important so make sure you look for flights during the week. Fridays and Sundays are the worst for booking domestic flights and Saturdays and Sundays (mornings, midday and afternoons) are a no-no for international airline tickets. This is usually a busier period for those Monday-Friday workers that are flying around on the weekends because they don’t have enough leave to take a proper vacation!
  • Do not book flights during peak months – i.e. school holidays, festive holidays! For domestic flights, stay away from buying airline tickets in January, July and December. Internationally, avoid booking flights in June, July and December. Basically, work hard during these months and save up to spend more during off-peak periods!
  • Don’t book flights too far in advance – essentially you will miss out on last minute deals or when airlines drop the price of tickets to fill up an emptier flight.



Now that we’ve covered what not to do, when is the right time to buy airline tickets?

  • You want to look at cheap flights around the actual day/ date you estimate to fly. Have a look at buying your airline tickets a week in advance or a week later (even try looking around the month you plan to travel). Try to be flexible with your date and times so you can find the best price to pay for your flights.
  • With domestic flights, you want to look at buying airline tickets on a Tuesday or Wednesday in the months of February and August. These are off-peak months, after the week has started and the airlines have had time to recover from the busy weekends! If you want to score further, try booking afternoon flights, to avoid those business types flying around in the early morning!
  • Internationally, again Tuesday evenings/nights and early Wednesday mornings are the most opportune to buy airline tickets; but also look of for discounted fares for late Sunday nights/ early Monday mornings – hardly anyone flies during these periods. Flying out of South Africa during May, October and November will do you a whole lot of good off-peak traveling.

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Equipped with the above tips, I’m sure you will be able to find the best time to buy airline tickets; get the best flight deals and plan your travels accordingly. If you’re looking for more deal and great prices, check out the flights specials page on Travelstart to get more ideas on when to book!

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Hello Yeshi

0 thoughts on “The best time to buy airline tickets!

  1. wowwww, that’s a great stats you’ve got there… thank you so much for sharing! 🙂 i personally don’t really count on the possibility to buy the ticket as low as possible, because i rarely use the promo ticket even when the airline company sent the notification about their campaign and all that. i think the cheapest ticket that i’ve ever purchased internationally, it was during airasia’s birthday promo when i got around $30 deal for a return flight to kuala lumpur from jakarta. 🙂

  2. This is really helpful, I usually look for tickets on weekdays or sale days but having a specific day is time saving 🙂

  3. Great tips here. I always thought far in advance was a good thing, but clearly not. Having said that, recently I’ve been far too disorganised to book anything in advance so lets hope I can get some good last minute deals on a Tuesday!!

  4. There is so much to take into consideration! So many different things to think of when buying and when to fly, thanks for the information!

  5. Oh, I plan to buy an airplane ticket to Europe this summer. My family is also trying to save some money. Thanks for the information.

  6. This was so helpful! I’m a visual person so the charts really helped me plan out when to search for flights! Thank you so much for sharing this is a game changer!!

  7. this is an interesting reading. I’m not very organised and I often end up paying a lot for flight tickets. I’ll keep this in mind

  8. Great tips! I agree with Thomas – the cheapest flight I ever booked was on Friday and the price is certainly depends on many factors! Nevertheless, you did a great job by putting together this post!

  9. I kind of know to avoid weekends, but I didn’t realise I really ought to try for Tuesday and Wednesday – I guess it should also be less crowded at airports too. Less chance for drama and stress perhaps!

  10. Hello Yeshi,

    Such an interesting post full of great tips! We fly very often and do practise most of your tips indeed. I did not know that the day on which you buy made a difference though. Different days of flying and seasons make such a huge difference indeed. We are soon going to South Africa again and we might have to take a few domestic flights. For this, to also make sure it is a good airline, which would you recommend? Best, Marcella

  11. Wow! These are really great tips! We generally avoid travelling in festive season as the flights are pretty expensive during that time. But we tend to forget other factors like school holidays, weekends etc. We never realised that the time of the day (morning/evening) also makes a huge difference. Price drop and discounted fares on specific days of the week is something new to me. I’ll keep these tips in mind for my next flight booking. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  12. This is a great infographic. Also, I prefer to book 1-2 month earlier and for the Tue-Wed days of the week.

    Great Article, Looking forward to more.

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