So… do flight prices really go down on Tuesdays?

Walking towards Scoot Plane - Kuantan Guide

Unpredictable. Frustrating. All over the place.

No, I’m not talking about your crazy ex. I’m talking about the 🤬 airfare system.

While planning for my holiday, I’ve seen viral Tiktok posts about “cheap flight hacks” — book on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, use a VPN, etc.

But I have no idea if they’re true. The only thing I really know for sure is that flight prices are always changing because of many factors: demand, time of year, fuel prices, etc.

So if you’ve always wanted to score cheap flights, learn from this list of 11 mistakes many travellers (including us) have made, and what you should do instead!

Mistake #1: Comparing prices individually on every airline’s website

Different Airplanes - How to Score Cheap Flights

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Jumping straight to an airline’s website may not be the best idea ’cause that means you’ll have to visit all airline websites to compare flight options. Not the best way to spend your time!

Instead, use flight search engines.

Skyscanner interface - How to Score Cheap Flights

If you’re like me where price is the topmost priority, you’ll be better off using flight search engines (or aggregators) like Skyscanner or Google Flights to save time.

These sites comb through airlines, online travel agencies, and even third-party booking platforms so you might even find cheaper deals for a flight you’re eyeing.

For Skyscanner: Just input your place of origin, intended destination, and flight dates then click “Search flights”.

Mistake #2: Checking flights repeatedly

Skyscanner Get Price Alerts Button - How to Score Cheap Flights

Have you ever searched for flight prices again and again in hopes of having a cheaper fare?

Instead, turn on price alerts.

Flight aggregators like Skyscanner help save time and energy by sending you an e-mail when airfare goes down — when you have price alerts on!

It’s pretty useful especially if you’re tracking prices for a specific flight. These websites update frequently so you don’t have to worry about missing out on cheaper airfares across all partner airlines (aka less sign-ups)!

Mistake #3: Booking flights months in advance

Phone Calendar - How to Score Cheap Flights

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It’s common knowledge that you should book your flights in advance to save money.

But did you know this isn’t always true, especially when it’s too early? Airfares may actually be higher because you’ll have the most seat options during this time.


Conversely, airlines also increase prices a few weeks before departure to capitalise on emergencies and business travellers.

Instead, don’t assume earlier is better.

Singapore South Korea VTL Flight

For example, this interesting research published by in 2024 shows the best time to book international flights from the US. Basically, it all depends on various factors such as your intended destination — the recommended day to book a flight to Australia is 8 months from departure, while it’s 2.5 months for Asia.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a recent study regarding flights from Singapore but we’ll update this when there’s one!

A great way to combat flight price uncertainty is to turn on those price alerts. Or look out for airline sales, which typically happen on an airline’s anniversary, or common “sale holidays” (9.9, Black Friday, etc).

Mistake #4: Not maximising credit cards

Person online shopping holding credit card in front of laptop - Travel budget hacks

Credit cards can be a complex topic, especially for someone who just started adulting. So avoiding the topic is completely understandable (*ahem* me in my baby traveller era).

You might have used it to pay for your airfare, but have you figured out how to score cheap flights with it?

Instead, use air miles.

Credit Cards in Wallet - How to Score Cheap Flights

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Air miles (aka frequent flyer miles) are reward points earned when using credit cards to purchase items. You can then use these miles to get discounts on flights, hotels, car rentals, etc. And there are cards specifically designed to get you the most air miles for every dollar you spend — ideal for frequent travellers.

For example, the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card earns you 2.8 miles for every dollar spent (one of the highest in the market). For cards with no annual fees, the HSBC Revolution Card may be a good choice (S$1 = up to 4 miles).

Make sure to read their latest terms and conditions though, as they are always changing!

A few things to consider when choosing a credit card: miles per dollar spent, annual fee, partner airlines, airport lounge access, sign-up bonus air miles, and air mile expiry.

Read also: 6 Lesser-known Credit Card Travel Hacks — More Miles, Cashback, Insider Deals

Mistake #5: Strictly sticking to a specific travel route

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Learning how to score cheap flights is learning how to compromise. Example: flying on a plane to the nearest or most popular airport may give you peace of mind, but it’s not necessarily the most cost-efficient option.

Instead, consider other transportation methods.

This may mean choosing an airport that’s farther away, and/or taking a train, bus, ferry or car to wherever you’re headed.

Train journey in Germany

For example, you can travel from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi in various ways. A one-way flight costs ~S$90, but it’s only ~S$56 for an overnight train. While a flight is almost always faster, those who have the extra time to spare may prefer other transportation methods.

Read also: How over-planning ruined my trip

Mistake #6: Specifying travel dates

Calendar with Marked Date - How to Score Cheap Flights

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Not sure when’s the best time to use your annual leave? Or wondering if travelling during peak season is worth the added cost? Don’t waste time using airline websites and playing around with specific travel dates just to check prices.

Instead, check the cheapest airfares across all months at a glance.

This is where flight aggregators can be very useful — they can easily show you flight prices for various airlines within a large date range.

For instance, Skyscanner has this feature where you can choose “flexible dates”. In the Depart or Return fields, choose a month you want to check out prices for. It even shows you which month/s have the cheapest flights!

Skyscanner Flexible Dates option - How to Score Cheap Flights

I wouldn’t die on this hill, multiple studies have shown that flights that fall on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays are more likely to be cheaper. Here’s Exhibit A, B, and C — all looking at historical US airfare data.

This pertains to the day you fly, not the day you book your flight.

*Pro-tip: Speaking of flexibility, if you just want to fly somewhere cheap but don’t know where, go to Skyscanner and type “Everywhere” in the To field. You’ll see which cities are the cheapest to fly to on the dates you’ve picked out.

Mistake #7:  Booking flights during peak season

A country’s “peak season” for travelling is usually easy to figure out: public holidays, holiday season (December to January), cherry blossom season, when the weather is great, or major festivals.

Plane tickets for these times are usually more expensive.

Instead, buy tickets in the opposite season.

This advice comes from renowned “cheap flight expert” Scott Keyes, who is most famous for founding travel platform — now with over 2 million members.

One of the ways to score cheap flights is to purchase your tickets in the opposite season of when you plan to visit: buy winter holiday flights during the summer season, and summer holiday flights during wintertime.

He likens it to how winter clothes go on sale in the summertime, and swimwear is cheaper when it’s cold.

Mistake #8: Flying direct

Skyscanner connecting flight - How to Score Cheap Flights

Yes, flying direct may be the fastest and least exhausting option, but looking into other routes can save you tons of money!

Instead, explore connecting flights.

The first option is to follow the airline’s flight itinerary. You’ll find various options across different airlines by using a flight aggregator.

The second option is looking for connecting flights on your own.

I learned this from personal experience when the airfare from Manila to Singapore was insanely high for the Taylor Swift concert. Instead of flying directly, I booked a flight to Bali first and stayed for a few days before heading to Singapore.

Man Meditating at Pura Meninging Temple - Wellness tour in Ubud

The total airfare ended up being a little cheaper (~S$23) than if I had booked a direct flight.

This itinerary wasn’t suggested by any airline website or flight aggregator, so it also meant having to spend a few nights in Bali. But with cheap accommodation options and fun things to do, I’m not complaining!

Mistake #9: Purchasing tickets in a group

Boarding pass for Jetstar flight - Vietnam Guide

If you’re the person in charge of booking plane tickets, don’t buy them all in one go!

Instead, book one ticket at a time.

In general, booking multiple tickets at once may lead to higher airfares.

Multiple Boarding Tickets - Travel Hacks

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Basic explanation: Airlines may automatically assume you want to be seated together. However, not all seats are priced the same and they’ll make you pay the price for the most expensive seat out of the bunch.

Advanced explanation: Airplane seats are divided into different categories with their own price and set of rules. These “categories” are called fare buckets.

For instance, a full-fare economy class ticket with perks like priority check-in and additional check-in baggage (fare bucket Y) is different from a basic, non-refundable economy class ticket (fare bucket B).

So if you book multiple tickets in one go, the number of people in your group may exceed the number of seats in a certain fare bucket. Airlines will then make you pay for the price of the seat/s in the more expensive bucket.

While this doesn’t happen all the time, it’s still worth looking at the airfare difference between a solo passenger, and a group. Here’s an example:

Google Flights SIN-HAN 2pax - How to Score Cheap Flights

For a flight for 2 pax, the combined prices are S$237 or S$118.50/pax.

Google Flights SIN-HAN 1pax - How to Score Cheap Flights

But when I search for only 1 pax, the price for the same SIN-HAN flight goes for only S$106.

Mistake #10: Missing discounts

Halloween in Copenhagen Student Exchange - Packing List

For some reason, it’s easy to forget that you can already get discounts for your flights besides the usual promo sales.

Instead, check for discount eligibility.

Visit an airline’s website for discounts for special categories/populations. For example, Singapore Airlines has a student privilege program where you can enjoy 10% savings on fares, inclusive of increased check-in baggage allowance (up to 40kg) and complimentary changes to your booking.

Emirates Airlines also has their own discounted student fares — 10% for economy class and 5% for business class.

International airlines such as Air France and United Airlines may also offer special discounts and perks for senior citizens.

Mistake #11: Not checking the airfare in another currency

KLM Website Currency - How to Score Cheap Flights

It makes sense to book in your own country’s currency, especially if you take into account foreign transaction fees. But sparing a few seconds to change your currency can make all the difference.

Instead, purchase flights in another currency.

This advice comes from several seasoned travellers, so it’s worth a shot.

Either load an international version of the airline website or change the displayed currency to a weaker one. This will work better if your country’s currency is doing well (and the Singaporean dollar has been, as of time of writing 😉).

If you do find cheaper airfare this way, the important thing is you book using a credit card with no foreign transaction fees like the Trust Credit Card.

Other unsubstantiated cheap flight hacks

Tuesdays - How to Score Cheap Flights

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So now that we’ve gone through 11 ways detailing how to score cheap flights, here are some of the more unconventional budget hacks.

Disclaimer: The items here are unverified and have no evidence supporting the claim that they could lead to more affordable flights.

Because of this, we don’t recommend relying on these methods. But if you’ve had success with these before, let us know how it went!

Plane alley - Da Lat Itinerary

1) Clear your cookies and browse with incognito mode: The logic behind this hack is that airline websites collect personal data, so if they see that you’ve been eyeing a certain flight, they can raise their prices.

2) Book tickets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays: According to Tuesday truthers, less people purchase flights on these days so airline websites allegedly decrease their prices.

3) Use a VPN and switch to another country: Some believe that airlines use a user’s location to determine the flight price, or it may help with changing the displayed currency on an airline’s website, as we discussed in Tip 11.

How to score cheap flights, for sure


There is no secret formula to determine the best way to get flights for less. We are living in a world where AI and machine learning are taking over, and that means it’s difficult for anyone to truly “game the system”.

All we have to rely on are anecdotes from other travellers’ experiences, a bit of common sense, and tools we have on hand. One being flight search engines like Skyscanner — it has an easy-to-use interface, price alerts, and the ability to check flight prices across different months.

*Pro-tip: Use the widget below or visit the Skyscanner website to start searching for the best flight deals.

Do you have any personal tips on how to score cheap flights? Let us know in the comments below!

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