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Oft-cited claim that Tuesday is the best time to buy airline tickets might not be true

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By Alyssa Pereira, SF Gate

It's become the oft-spouted wisdom of sagacious travelers that the best day to scan airline sites for the cheapest fare is Tuesday. However, recent research from airfare price forecasting site Hopper suggests that advice may only slightly useful.

Actually, those bargain Tuesday tickets only emerge at exactly midnight, and savings only apply to 1.6 percent of U.S. domestic flights, according to Bloomberg. And even on those flights, as the site notes, travelers will only save 6 percent more than if they had booked at the ticket at its standard price.

[post_ads]But here's the rub: According to most experts, there's no universal best day to purchase airline tickets. As Patrick Surry, a data scientist for Hopper, told Bloomberg, "the system is adapting in real time," so flight seekers just need to do the legwork and be vigilant to land the best rates.

That being said, Hopper researchers did make some interesting discoveries in comparing flight costs across the board. Looking at international flights sold every day of the week, it turned out that almost a quarter of the cheapest prices posted for routes were up for sale at an average of $30 cheaper than usual on Thursday — more than any other day of the week.

Those savings are also possible, to some extent, for domestic flights. The average discount is only about $12 for such routes on that day, but for cash-strapped tickets seekers, that might be worth it.

To other travel site editors, Tuesday is still a good bet for finding inexpensive tickets. According to AirfareWatchdog editor Tracy Stewart, major carriers like JetBlue and Southwest do still launch sales in the late hours Monday night, so that cheap tickets are indeed available on Tuesdays. A separate study by FareCompare backs that claim, stating that one of the best times to buy domestic tickets is on that day at noon (PT).

Though experts disagree on most things booking-related, there are a couple travel tips about which most agree. For one, the absolute worst days for booking tickets are probably Friday and Saturday.

Most importantly, though, they warn prospective travelers not to procrastinate; don't sleep on buying up those seats — last-minute fare drops are simply not a thing.

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Travel - U.S. Daily News: Oft-cited claim that Tuesday is the best time to buy airline tickets might not be true
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