Peak and off-peak – frequent traveler observes that pretty often in front of his/her eyes. But what actually it means? When it best time, date, month, season to travel and fly. Here is a small research.

Information is valid at time of publication. So sometimes you may not find the price mentioned in the post (ex. after several days of the original posting date). It means that the deal was sold out or supplier (airlines/agency) has changed the conditions or removed the offer.

Best times of day to fly

Here’s a typical day in the life of the top ten domestic airlines’ on-time performance (percentage of flights arriving on time)

600 – 659 AM 88.2
700 – 759 AM 91.3
800 – 859 AM 88.6
900 – 959 AM 86.4
1000 – 1059 AM 85.1
1100 – 1159 AM 84.1
1200 – 1259 PM 84.1
100 – 159 PM 84.1
200 – 259 PM 82.3
300 – 359 PM 82.2
400 – 459 PM 79.5
500 – 559 PM 78.4
600 – 659 PM 77.6
700 – 759 PM 76.5
800 – 859 PM 76.4
900 – 959 PM 76.8
1000 – 1059 PM 77.3
1100 – 559 AM 79.1

Very early morning flights and late evening flights tend to be cheaper than those during busy periods of the day. This is due to fewer flights being available at those times and the general dislike of passengers to fly at those hours.

Best day of week to fly

Off-peak travel is  considered Monday afternoon – Thursday morning, Saturday. While increasing fares significantly for Sunday, Monday morning, Thursday afternoon/evening, and Friday flights.

No guarantees can be made for finding a cheaper flight on weekend but is definitely worth a look.

Also during summer season and especially for popular destinations – all days can have maximized prices! Everything depends on airline and its regulations.

Seasons to fly

Off-Peak Season
This period begins on the second week of January until April 1st and begins again in September until the first week of December.

Shoulder Season
This period begins April until June 1st.

Peak season
This period begins Jun 1st until August 31st and begins again in December until the first week of January.

Winter times – all countries with ski resorts will have higher price flights, though northern countries will have lower flight ticket prices due to cold weather.


Every single holiday has its kind of PEAK season. Especially Mid November till Beginning of January has lots of holidays.




Most expensive – late May/first week of June – Ends late August (typically, last week of the month).

Less expensive –  mid/late October – mid/late March

Moderate – spring/fall

Hawaii, Canada, Alaska, North-West and North-East of Northern America

Most expensive – summer season

Florida, Caribbean, Southern California, New Orleans 

Most expensive – spring season, especially Spring Break!

China (ex. Hong Kong)

  • Peak Season is from October through to late December
  • May is the best time to travel here. The weather is mild and it is not too busy.

Turkey (ex. Istanbul)

  • Peak Season is between July and August
  • Prices can drop between April and June and September to October.Winters can be cold!


Avoid going during summer time as it will be extremely hot!


Most expensive – Summer till late October (due to Oktoberfest)


Up-Side-Down country 🙂

More expensive – during winter times as it is basically summer and warm weather

Less expensive – during summer times as it is winter time and can be snowy

Bottom line

Overall, just use common sense when booking flight tickets. Of course, the earlier – the better and you will have more seat options to chose from.

Hard not to mention the

Also consider checking out airfares deals to find out most interesting and most affordable tickets. Usually we post 3-4 deals a day, so there is always something to chose from. And subscribe to our newsletterFacebookTwitterPinterestTumbler.

H/T Miles for Trips