Be Flexible on Flight Days to Save Money

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You may already know that there’s no “magic” day or time of year to find the lowest possible airfares, right? But there are days to actually fly when it’s much cheaper. Find these specific days with a flexible travel date search and save 50 percent to 80 percent.

Most all airlines now offer this function to one degree or another. & American, for example, automatically shows a week of fares whenever you search a destination. But other airlines go much deeper, and you must choose various options to use their flexible travel date functions.

At Delta, when you click on “Flexible Dates (Calendar View)” and enter departure and return dates you’ll see a whole month of fare possibilities (be sure to leave the nearby airports option at “0” miles or flexible search won’t work). Frontier automatically shows a seven-day range of fares, but click on “Month View” to see more dates. Then there’s Jetblue, which for some reason hides its very useful flexible date search offering a full month of fare finds.

Southwest doesn’t list fares on Expedia and the like, but their low-fare calendar (also known as the “Southwest Shortcut”) is easy to find. Click on “Flexible Dates” from the home page and enter departure and arrival cities, then use the pull down menu to search by month.

United also has an excellent flex date product. From the flight search page click on “My dates are flexible,” then the month of travel and the length of stay and then search. From there you can adjust the length of stay and month and refresh results. And then there’s Virgin America. Their latest site redesign now shows you a calendar view of fares over a one-month period.

Unfortunately, most of these flexible date options do not work with the airlines’ apps, so you’ll have to use their websites to find flexible date deals. Among non-airline sites, Kayak offers the best month-long flexible date searches. You must register and sign in, however, to use it.