When’s the Best Time to Book Flights?

posted in: Travel | 1

…When there’s a sale, of course!

Jokes aside.

Whether you love local travel or have family and friends scattered across the country, I bet, at some point, you’ve pretty much spent quite a bit of time trying to find the cheapest flights. Having close family in KZN and Gauteng means I’ve done that a lot already; actually almost every single time my hubby and I were planning a trip.

Searching for the Lowest Fares

So, have you ever wondered when’s the best time to buy an airline ticket? I have. When there aren’t any airline sales, I noticed that the following have affected flight prices in my hunt for the lowest domestic fare:

  • Which day of the week I plan on flying
  • What time of the day I’m flying
  • Whether school is open or it’s holiday time
  • Whether it’s on a public holiday I want to fly

Ninety percent of the time we fly out on a Wednesday and return on a Saturday. We’ve noticed that these days tend to be cheaper, and it fits right in with organising annual leave from work. Early morning flights are usually the cheapest, as well as some very late night flights. But fares during school holidays are priced slightly higher.

With regards to flying on a public holiday: I used to assume it may just be more expensive. But, if you’ve got the time to constantly check, you may just find yourself a sweet deal. A few years ago, I got to spend Christmas weekend with my sisters, only because in the last minute (literally 3 days before) I searched for cheap flights from Cape Town to Johannesburg on Travelstart… and voila! We found 2 return tickets for under R2500, flying out on Christmas day.

FYI – Flights between Durban and Cape Town are always pricier than between Jo’burg and Cape Town/Durban (yep, I’m looking at you, ‘low-cost airlines’). I fly to Durban from CT more than any other route, and comparing the prices still surprises me.

Flying Between Jo’burg and Cape Town?

Did you know that this route is actually one of the busiest in the world? If you’re planning a trip between JNB-CPT, take a look at this infographic Travelstart put together that focuses on finding the cheapest flights for this route and internationally.

Have you got any tips to share when you search for the cheapest tickets?


This post was written in collaboration with Travelstart.

Follow Saajida Akabor:

Digital Copywriter

Freelance digital copywriter; animal-lover; reader; photography enthusiast; and a tea drinker.

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