What is the Best Day to Buy Cheap Airfare?

10 things you should know to get the best flight deals.

ByABC News
November 10, 2009, 5:17 AM

Jan. 20, 2010 — -- Flying is a pain. We all know that. The insane security demands, those preposterous bag fees. It's gotten out of control. So the least the airlines can do is let us fly for cheap, right? And many times they do.

The trick is learning how to find those cheap airfares.

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Not so easy. The airlines don't always announce their specials and sales. Indeed, airline discounting on a specific flight may only last a couple of hours, and chances are you'll never hear about it.

But someone will save, and it might as well be you. So here are the 10 things you should know so you can nab those savings.

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No. 1: Know What Cheap Airfare Looks Like

That 2007 Honda Civic you've been salivating over, the one with the moon roof? You wouldn't buy it without consulting the Blue Book, would you? Do the same with airfare. Learn what a cheap fare to your destination of choice looks like. Get a baseline from airfare maps with prices including deals to your destination and surrounding areas. Keep up with airfare sales and pay attention to tip No. 8. If you're new at this, do not buy the first fare you see no matter what it costs. You wouldn't do that with a Honda, would you?

If you're really into research, check out historical data so you can see what prices were two and three years ago.

And don't buy too far ahead of time: It's rare that sale prices show up outside a four-month departure window. If you buy earlier, you will pay more than you should.