Here’s the Most Expensive Days to Fly

If you want to score cheap flights, make sure to avoid traveling during these days.

If you’re a frequent flyer, you know that planning and booking your trip in advance can save you a lot of money. Another way to save a lot of money (and stress) on tickets is to avoid flying on the most expensive and popular travel days. You’ll also want to read up on these travel secrets to get the best airfare possible.

KAYAK analyzed its data from 2019 for Reader’s Digest to help predict the most expensive days to fly within the United States in 2020. Unsurprisingly, they found that the most expensive days to fly are around the holidays. In 2019, the days leading up to or after Christmas, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, and Memorial Day weekend saw the highest median airfare. December 21, 2019—the Saturday before Christmas—had the highest median ticket price at $588. There was also a spike in ticket prices on July 7, 2019, the Sunday after the 4th of July. Median airfare was $570.

Based on the data they collected from 2019, the days you’re going to want to avoid flying on in 2020 are:

  • 12/19/20: Saturday before the holiday weekend
  • 12/16/20: Wednesday before the holiday weekend
  • 7/5/20: Sunday after July 4th
  • 11/29/20: Sunday after Thanksgiving
  • 12/18/20: Friday before the holidays
  • 12/17/20: Thursday before the holidays
  • 12/21/20: Monday before the holidays
  • 12/26/20: Saturday after the holidays
  • 12/22/20: Tuesday before the holidays
  • 5/25/20: Monday of Memorial Day weekend
  • 6/29/20: Monday before 4th of July

If you’re prepared and avoid these days, you’ll save yourself some money and the possibility of being kicked off an overbooked flight. If you already know that you’re going to be traveling during these holidays, know that you can save money by booking a flight on the actual holiday or the weekend after if you book far enough in advance. The travel experts at KAYAK say that the cheapest median airfare for domestic holiday airfare can be booked about three weeks out. So keep that in mind when solidifying your travel plans for 2020.

If you’re reading this article a little too late and haven’t booked your flights yet for holiday travel, this is about how much you’re going to pay, according to data from 2019.

12/21/19 $588 Saturday of holiday weekend
12/18/19 $571 Wednesday before holiday weekend
7/7/19 $570 Sunday after July 4th
12/1/19 $570 Sunday after Thanksgiving
12/20/19 $570 Friday before holidays
12/19/19 $566 Thursday before holidays
12/16/19 $558 Monday before holidays
12/26/19 $557 Thursday after holidays
12/17/19 $553 Tuesday before holidays
5/27/19 $549 Monday of MDW
7/1/19 $549 Monday before July 4th

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Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Senior Production Editor at Trusted Media Brands. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She works with our Production Coordinators to keep content moving and make sure that things are working well behind the scenes for all our digital sites. In her free time, she likes exploring the seacoast of Maine where she lives and works remotely full time and snuggling up on the couch with her corgi, Eggo, to watch HGTV or The Office.