Today Is the Most Popular Day to Book Summer Air Travel

Jun 4, 2019

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Consider this your reminder to book those flights you’ve been eying for your summer trips.

It’s the first Tuesday in June — the day that, according to metasearch site Hipmunk, is the most popular day of the year to book summer air travel.

It is also one of the cheapest, too.

According to Hipmunk’s analysis, more than a third of flights are 15% cheaper on the first Tuesday in June than the median booking price for summer travel as a whole. As a result, 90% more flight bookings occur on the first Tuesday in June as compared to median number of daily flight bookings for the rest of the summer.

“Traditionally, the first Tuesday in June is also the date that Southwest Airlines announces its fall sale routes and other carriers follow suit,”  Kelly Soderlund, Hipmunk’s travel trends expert, said in a release. Soderlund said in an email to TPG that that “the SWA sale creates another sort of ‘Southwest Effect’: other airlines drop prices + travelers are running searches/reminded that they need to book their summer travel.” She dubs the day “Summer Travel Tuesday.”

Plus timing plays a role in the uptick in flight bookings today, according to Soderlund. “It’s officially June, most schools are being let out, and people are really starting to focus their attention on tightening up their summer plans,” she explained. “And so the confluence of those aspects—along with some great travel deals—gives us Summer Travel Tuesday.”

Of the flights booked on the first Tuesday of June 2018, 70% departed in June or July of the same year, Hipmunk found.

But not everyone is convinced of the “Summer Travel Tuesday” phenomenon.

“If airlines thought that customers thought there was a ‘Tuesday sweet spot’, or knew of an ‘every Tuesday’ discontinuity in fares, don’t you think they would close any ‘Low Fare Gap’?” airline consultant Robert Mann told TPG in an email. “After all, they would be consciously leaving money on the table, which they are loath to do.”

What’s not up for debate, however, is that Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines did launch flash sales on Tuesday. Southwest fares on dozens of routes dropped below $100, and Alaska launched its summer sale, which will run from June 4 – 10 for travel in August. Here is a chart of some of the biggest savings on Alaska fares:

Hipmunk says that the following destinations will have some of the best deals on Tuesday:

  • Domestic Destinations:
    • Los Angeles
    • San Francisco
    • Las Vegas
    • Denver
    • Chicago
  • International Destinations: 
    • London
    • Paris
    • Madrid
    • Cancun, Mexico
    • Vancouver, Canada

Featured photo by Orbon Alija via Getty Images.

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