We recently did a comprehensive study of our database of current and historical airfares (the world’s largest) and found an interesting and useful trend that has been happening for the past few years.
- Airlines typically file their airfare sales late Monday evening (at 8pm Eastern)
- Usually only one or two airlines kick off a sale on any given week
- During the morning hours of the next day (Tuesday) other airlines scramble to match the new lower prices on the routes of the initiating airline(s) (during domestic airfare feeds at 10am and 1pm Eastern)
- So at about 3pm Eastern time is when all the matching discounted seat prices hit reservation systems for domestic travel — this is when the maximum number of cheap seats are available to consumers
- Even more interestingly these airline sales tend to last for only 3 days, so late on Thursday the sale prices are yanked, so if you are shopping on the weekend your likely paying too much for a domestic airline ticket.
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