Data Shows Winter and Fall Are Cheapest Times to Fly Within the US
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Depending on your destination, the cheapest time to see the United States could come in the dead of winter or the heart of fall, while flights to Canada may be the most affordable during the spring months. The findings come from Hipmunk’s annual review of when to visit 120 destinations across North America.
To determine the lowest overall prices for domestic flights, researchers used booking data for dates between July 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016. Analyzing thousands of flight combinations, the team pinpointed the cheapest times to fly to 103 cities across the United States, including Hawaii, and 17 Canadian cities.
Across the data table, the study revealed that January was the most affordable month to fly in the United States, as nearly two-thirds of destinations dropped in price during the first month of the year. Prices would then spike in February, as one-third of those destinations dropped off the low price radar, in accordance with other studies. Additionally, the fall months of September and October offered low prices to nearly half of the destinations surveyed.
The best time to get a deal to Hawaii is also during the winter. All five Hawaiian airports surveyed, including Honolulu, reported their lowest overall prices in either January or February. However, two airports offer deals outside of the winter: Kona (KOA) reported low overall prices in May, while Lihue (LIH) in Kauai had low prices in September. The new service planned for West Maui was not included in the surveying.
Travelers heading to the Great White North can find strong prices during the spring months. The research revealed 11 of the 17 Canadian destinations, including Toronto and Montreal, reported the lowest overall airfare between March and May every year.
So how much can you expect to save by booking during the optimal months? Travelers who booked a ticket to Las Vegas for January or February paid an nationwide average of $220, almost $100 lower than the peak average of $313 in July. For New York, the average nationwide airfare price in January and February was $271, compared to the peak prices of $354 in August and November. For Honolulu, the lowest average price of $614 in February is $247 less than the peak price of $861 in July.
When do you typically find the cheapest fares for your favorite destinations in North America?
This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.
- Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
- Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
- If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
- No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
- Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
- Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Low $95 annual fee