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By Aric Jenkins
July 5, 2017
A United  airplane prepares for landing as the New York City skyline stands in the background at Newark Liberty International Airport on April  12, 2017.
A United airplane prepares for landing as the New York City skyline stands in the background at Newark Liberty International Airport on April 12, 2017.
Timothy Fadek—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Frequent travelers often say that Tuesday is the best time to buy plane tickets. While good deals can be found during certain days of the week, it turns out that Tuesday is not one of them.

New data from airfare forecasting company Hopper indicates that in reality, the Tuesday effect is only active at exactly midnight — and only applies to just 1.6% of domestic U.S. flights, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Even if you manage to purchase your ticket at exactly midnight on Tuesday, you’ll only reap about 6% — or roughly $18 on average — in savings.

Hopper’s mobile app uses an archive of trillions of flight prices to analyze and predict when plane tickets will be at their cheapest over the course of a set time frame. In its research, the company found that computer technology has changed the standard rules of bargain hunting.

“In the past, there used to be more human intervention where managers could create flash sales, often on Tuesdays and Wednesdays,” Patrick Surry, chief data scientist at Hopper, told Bloomberg. “These decisions are largely automated now.”

So is there any particular time that has replaced Tuesdays as the go-to when it comes to looking for airfare deals? According to the thousands of routes, both domestic and international, that Hopper analyzed, Thursday is the best bet for lowering costs.

Domestic flights dropped about $12 to $15 on average, and international flights saw savings of about $20 per ticket. Monday also proved to be cheaper than usual for international flights with an average saving of $30 a ticket. Surry told Bloomberg that domestic carriers don’t tend to go out of their way to lower prices, but Wednesday provides an alternative for slight discounts if Thursday isn’t an option.

In general, Hopper found, there is one ticket insight you can count on: Avoid booking on Sundays if you can help it.

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

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Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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