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Aviation mythbusters: Is it really cheaper to fly on Friday the 13th?

Article published
5.6.2018 at 09:00
A travel industry executive shares her thoughts on the cost of air travel on this so-called unlucky day and offers tips on how to get the best deals.

Whenever Friday the 13th rolls around, the superstitious among us would probably be more mindful of black cats crossing your path, accidentally walking under a ladder or seeing your reflection on a broken mirror. This irrational fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia.

For some, superstitions may lead to a fear of flying on this so-called unlucky day. The upside is that the cost of air travel is supposedly more affordable on Friday the 13th. Is it really?

According to Jenna Perus, spokesperson in Finland for global travel search site Momondo, round trip ticket prices are, in fact, 6 per cent cheaper on Friday the 13th of April 2018 compared to any other day in April this year.

Differences between destinations

Research conducted by Momondo revealed variations in savings depending on the destination. For countries such as the United States, Germany, Greece, Finland, Portugal and the Netherlands, average ticket prices are down on Friday the 13th this year compared to other days during this month.

A roundtrip ticket to the Netherlands from within Europe, for instance, is €351.83 on April 13, 2018 while it costs €490.26 on average in April.

On the other hand, ticket prices to Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and France went up. For example, airfare to Italy from within Europe was €395.29 on April 13, 2018 while it is €324.51 on average during the rest of the month.

“The data is inconclusive, however, because it’s such a small change,” Perus says.

How to steal the best deal

To those travellers – superstitious or not – who wish to get the best prices on flights, fear not. Of course, there are still deals to be had. Momondo offers the following tips*.

  1. Book your flight 60 days in advance to get the cheapest tickets – you can achieve an average savings of 34 per cent.

  1. Tickets are generally the most expensive on the day of departure.

  1. Evening departures between the hours of 6pm and 12am typically offer the cheapest fares.

  1. It is usually more expensive to fly in the morning and midday, before 3pm.

  1. Tuesday is generally the cheapest day to fly.

  1. Saturday is routinely the most expensive day of the week to fly.

*These statistics were obtained from more than 100 million fares from searches done on 1704 routes. Data collection took place on August 8, 2017, and covers searches done on across Momondo domains in the period of August 6, 2016 - August 7, 2017.