Airline expert debunks myth on how to get cheapest price on plane tickets

Ever wondered how to snag the absolute best deals on airline tickets? If you’re like most of us, constantly refreshing your browser in hopes of catching that perfect flight time without breaking the bank, you know the struggle is real. But fear not, because airline expert Chow Ping Lee is here to clear the air on common misconceptions and share insider secrets on how to book cheap flights.

The airline guru revealed how to save on the best flights. (Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Taking to social media platform X, Lee’s insights quickly captured the attention of travelers everywhere. She started by busting a common myth: “Everyone: ‘Book your flight on a Tuesday at 3 pm, you’ll get the cheapest tickets!’ As an airline veteran, this is B.S. myth. Timing matters, but not in the way you think.”

Instead of relying on oversimplified advice, Lee emphasizes the importance of understanding how airlines price their tickets. It turns out, it’s a complex interplay of factors including whether the travel is for business or leisure, historical booking data, competitor pricing, fuel costs, and seasonal demand.

Lee warns, the pricing may seem random, but it’s controlled chaos orchestrated by sophisticated AI algorithms. “A Boston to San Francisco round-trip has over 25 MILLION different valid fares,” she explained. This variability is largely due to AI-driven pricing strategies that react in real-time to market conditions.

But here’s the kicker: airlines are also tracking your booking behavior. “Ever notice that prices are always higher the 2nd time you check? It’s not a coincidence. It’s because… they stalk you,” Lee reveals. Airlines use cookies to monitor your search history and may hike up the prices based on your interest.

So, how can you outsmart the system and book cheap flights? Lee suggests being flexible with your travel dates, using incognito mode when searching, setting up price alerts, and avoiding unnecessary extras like seat selection and other add-ons.

Despite the widespread belief, booking on a Tuesday isn’t the silver bullet many think it is. Hayley Berg, lead economist at Hopper, confirmed this in an interview with USA TODAY: “We tested out [the Tuesday theory] and looked at the best day of the week to book for a number of popular trips and Tuesday was the cheapest day just one percent of the time.”

Taking on Chow Ping Lee's advice, you can enjoy your vacation knowing you have the cheapest flights available. (Hasan Akbas/Anadolu via Getty Images)

The bottom line? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to when you can find the cheapest flights. It’s about being savvy, staying informed, and using the right tools to make sure you get the best deal possible. So next time you’re planning a trip, take a leaf out of Chow Ping Lee’s book and travel smarter, not harder.