Here are the cheapest times to fly from 20 major U.S. airports

We hear a lot about the best days to book flights online and what time of year to find the best deals on flights to Cancun, but one thing many avid travelers rarely hear is whether it’s the best time to book flights online. Cheap time to change flights based on your departure airport. This is surprising, considering that discussions about airfare prices are often accompanied by mythical ideas proportional to folklore: depending on who you talk to, you'll get different but confident arguments for the best time to fly. One friend swears that Tuesday nights are the cheapest nights to buy tickets, while a colleague guarantees last-minute online reservations. A friend who is an expert in flying believes that about six weeks before a flight is the best time. In other words, everyone believes in some version of airline-related folklore, but for some reason the conversation about how airports affect ticket prices doesn't really filter into the larger discussion.

However, if this new study from Groupon Coupons is any proof, it should be this. According to their website, they have been collecting data with the help of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics for the past five years to understand when people take domestic flights from the country's 20 largest airports and how much it costs to fly domestically. What they have now is a comprehensive study that pretty much shows that flight prices vary by airport and season. Every airport has a season of affordable prices, and while it may seem completely random, it makes sense. Airfare prices fluctuate seasonally, but not all airports have the same prices.

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For example, although Chicago and New York have similar weather seasons and tourist seasons associated with attractions, their airports have different peaks. Research indicates that if you are looking for cheap flights from Chicago ORD Airport, summer will be your best bet for finding discounted domestic flights, and if you are looking for cheap flights from Chicago ORD Airport, summer will be your best bet for finding discounted domestic flights. Best choice for discounted domestic flights. JFK Airport in New York, spring will be the best time to fly domestically. Interestingly, flights are cheapest in the fall from Newark EWR Airport, which is close to JFK and also serves the New York area. Flights are cheapest from New York City's smaller LGA airports during the summer .

Like ORD and LGA, from Los Angeles (LAX), Denver (DEN), San Francisco (SFO), Boston (BOS), Seattle (SEA), Dallas (DFW), Orlando (MCO), Las Vegas (LAS) Flights from Philadelphia (PHL), San Diego (SAN), Detroit (DTW) and Baltimore (BWI) are all cheaper in the summer .

The other airports surveyed — Atlanta (ATL), Phoenix (PHX), Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL) — all offer the cheapest flights in the fall .

Also worth noting: While this isn't the cheapest season for these airports, the study did find that winter flights from West Coast airports are significantly cheaper than flights from East Coast airports.


We know from the data we collected that one of the most important factors to consider before booking a flight is the airport and flight date. While all of these airports have a lot in common, they operate differently and need to be considered individually. There's no universal truth about fares that covers every airport in the U.S., and the data doesn't cover booking dates, but rather departure dates.

So while it's cleaner and better to collect general thoughts about travel, it's really a personalized topic. Of course, looking for tips for getting cheap flights might work sometimes, but taking into account seasonal data on actual flight dates would be a sure bet. What matters is not when you book, but where you book and when your flight departs.