When is the best time to fly this summer?

July 5 is estimated to be one of the most expensive travel days this summer

The season for travel is here, but travelers are less likely hit to the skies than in years past. In fact, for the first time since 2009, the novel coronavirus will lead to a decline in summer travel, according to estimates from AAA.

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Airlines have been devastated by the pandemic, as travel dropped by about 95 percent at its low point in April. Airline revenue has plummeted since early March, forcing the carriers to rely on billions in federal aid and private borrowing to survive until travel recovers.

On Sunday, the number of people passing through security checkpoints at U.S. airports was 633,810, a far cry from the over 2.6 million from the comparable day a year ago.


However, as restrictions continue to loosen around the country, traffic has picked up slightly. So even though airports may not be as busy this summer as usual, some residents are still itching to take a trip. And fortunately, many of those tickets will come at a lower price than normal as carriers seek to lure back in customers.

Passengers wearing personal protective face masks leave the United Airlines ticket counter after checking in Tuesday, June 16, 2020, at the Tampa International Airport in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The question then becomes: When is the best time to fly?

The beginning of July is estimated to have the priciest dates overall with July 5, the day after Independence Day, considered one of the most expensive travel days this summer, according to cheapair.com, an online travel agency that made a calendar to highlight the cheapest and most expensive days to fly this summer.

However, if travelers are flexible, they can save if they book a flight on Independence Day or a few dates around it. For instance, by choosing a return flight on Tuesday, July 7, instead of Monday, July 6, travelers can save nearly $150, according to the site.

July 1, July 4, July 7 or July 8, are the cheapest options around the holiday. However, the least expensive day to travel in July is the last Tuesday of the month (July 28).


A passenger checks in for an American Airlines flight in Terminal D at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on March 13, 2020, in Dallas, Texas. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

By comparison, the majority of August and September are considered good days to travel when looking for a good value, the travel agency noted.

"Most of the best fares are coming in well under $300 right now with Wednesdays offering some of the best deals of the month, " the agency said.

Overall, however, the least expensive day to fly is estimated to be Aug. 25, the last. Likewise, the last Tuesday of September is projected to be the cheapest out of the entire month.

And if travelers are looking to go away for Labor Day weekend, flights are projected to be $20 cheaper compared to years past, according to the agency.

The agency, which has been monitoring air travel since 1989, will update the list as prices fluctuate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.