Is It Really Cheaper To Fly On Friday The 13th? Probably Not, But Here's When It Is
Searching for flight deals? Well, you may have heard that if you buy a ticket to fly on Friday the 13th, it’ll be cheaper than flying on another day. (The first Friday the 13th this year is in April and the second is in July.) It could be superstition that brought that rumor to your ears, but it’s also probably based on a study from KAYAK that was released in January 2017. That study found that flying on the unluckiest day could be 10-40 percent cheaper than the average price for that month. Sweet! As long as you can get around your fears of the plane plummeting to the ground because: luck. Right?
Unfortunately, not exactly. Deal hunter Alanna Smith from travel deal site TravelPirates took a look at TravelPirates' data to see if flying on Friday the 13th is actually cheaper than flying on any other day. Specifically, they looked at one-way flights from New York and Los Angeles to their 25 most popular destinations for April 2018. They not only found that flights weren’t cheaper than the average for the month, but that they might actually be more expensive. That’s because Fridays are the most popular day to fly and, as a result, flights on Friday are generally more expensive than flights on other days of the week.
But don’t despair yet about your travel hack! The travel experts over at TravelPirates think that the reason the KAYAK study came up with such different results than they did is because the KAYAK study looked at flights departing from Europe. They suspect that the United States may not have as many deeply-rooted superstitions about the 13th as Europe does.
As an American, I can’t say I know too much about Friday the 13th superstitions in Europe. But the feeling that the number 13 is unlucky seems to be as old as superstition itself. According to an article in LiveScience, there’s a Norse myth about a dinner party with 12 guests and when an uninvited 13th shows up, he wreaks havoc. That final guest was none other than the trickster god Loki — and in the story, he shoots the god of joy and happiness. The same LiveScience article points out that Christianity also holds 13 to be unlucky, as can be seen in the fact that the 13th guest at the Last Supper was Jesus’ betrayer, Judas.
And when we look specifically at Friday the 13th, apparently it wasn’t even a thing until the late 1800s! Before that, there was some association between the two, going back to that Last Supper with 13 guests that was held on Good Friday. But no one is really certain where the Friday the 13th myth started. (Also, fun fact: In Spanish-speaking countries, Tuesday the 13th is bad luck and they straight up DGAF about Friday.)
But maybe us residents of the USA aren’t as superstitious as our European counterparts. (Or, at least, maybe we’re not superstitious enough to not fly on Friday the 13th, because the 13 thing is definitely real. Try going to the 13th floor in any old skyscraper or many hotels and see what happens.) So if you’re traveling within or from the U.S., flying on Friday the 13th isn’t going to save you any money. Luckily, TravelPirates was awesome enough to give Bustle some other insider travel hacks that actually will help you get cheap flights. Here’s what they said.
1. Fly On Tuesday Or Wednesday
If your schedule can handle it, always try to fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday, Smith says. As the least popular travel days, prices are usually lower than other days and sometimes airlines even offer special deals.
Another day-of-the-week trip? Try booking on Saturday, believe it or not. Flights are often cheaper because most weekend travelers book for Friday. (Yup — even the 13th.)
2. Take Advantage Of The 24-Hour Flight Booking Grace Period
“It's better to book your tickets quickly to avoid the risk that the price will disappear or sell out, even if you're not 100 percent sure you can take the trip,” Jessica Bisesto, senior editor at TravelPirates, tells Bustle. “If you change your mind, booking from the United States grants you a 24-hour penalty-free cancellation grace period in the original method of payment.”
3. Book Error Fares
“Error fares occur when an airline issues a ticket for an incorrect price by accident,” Bisesto says. “A simple typing error can shave off hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars (like a $151 roundtrip flight from Washington, D.C. to Chile). When our team of dealhunters finds a deal like this, we immediately post it to our website and social media as well as send out a push notification to our app users so that you can book the fare before it disappears.”
So there are totally ways to get cheaper flights but booking on Friday the 13th probably just isn't one of them.