We would have guessed that the cheapest air travel day of the year was, say, January 27th.
Clear of holiday travel and MLK Weekend vacation-goers. Well in advance of tropical vacations for snowbound northerners and spring-breaking coeds.
But it's not.
It's ... August 23rd?
"You can shop now, but be sure your itinerary starts on Aug. 23 or beyond to take advantage of the fall savings," say the data-crunchers at air travel site FareCompare.com.
It's a counterintuitive choice, given that it's smack-dab in the middle of summer vacation season. That's no competition, apparently, for the decrease in demand that attends back-to-school season. August 23rd is also a Tuesday, notable because this day usually sees the best fares of the week. So it's the sweetspot of seasonally depressed demand and standard weekly fluctuations.
If your late August plans are already set, no need to stress: FareCompare's Rick Seaney says that this is but the beginning of the "fall deals zone," which lasts until the run-up to Thanksgiving, when of course everything is terrible and expensive again.
But if your schedule allows for some early fall getaways, you're golden.