With over 8 million domestic departures per year, the U.S. airline industry provides an almost inconceivable amount of travel options. It can be great if you’re looking to book a last-minute weekend flight to the Wisconsin Dells, but if you’re obsessed with finding the absolute best deal on flights, it can be a little overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact, that finding the lowest fare has become a cottage industry: What time of day? What day of the week? What month?

 

So we here at Groupon Coupons thought we’d run some numbers—courtesy of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. There's more on methodology below, but let's jump into the numbers first.

 

 

At every airport we analyzed, flights that depart during the summer have cheaper fares than the average, but five airports actually have their lowest fares during the fall: Atlanta, Newark, Phoenix, Minneapolis-St.Paul, and Fort Lauderdale. Flying out of these cities? Do it in the fall.

 

And while summer is cheap everywhere, some airports can be considered more “summer airports” than others: Chicago’s O’Hare has the most heavily discounted summer flights of all 20 airports and NYC’s LaGuardia only has cheaper-than-average airfare during the summer.

 

Only one airport has its cheapest fares on spring flights: Ladies and gentlemen, the shimmering jewel of American airports, New York City’s JFK International Airport.

 

On the flipside, flights departing during the winter months tend to be higher than each airport’s five-year average for all but four airports: Seattle-Tacoma and all three of the big California airports (LAX, SAN, SFO). It’s cheaper to fly out of airports on the west coast during the winter than it is the east coast.

 

Winter fares tend to rise highest in the midwest and south: Minneapolis, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Dallas all jack up their prices when the colder months roll through.

 

the data

 

Airport 5-Year Average Fare Winter Price Change Spring Price Change Summer Price Change Fall Price Change Cheapest Season
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) $392.19 -1.03% (-$4.06) +2.08% (+$8.15) -2.04% (-$8.01) 1.00% (+$3.91) Summer
O'Hare International Airport (ORD) $365.02 +4.33% (+$15.80) +0.69% (+$2.52) -3.56% (-$13.00) -1.46% (-$5.33) Summer
Denver International Airport (DEN) $328.98 +3.43% (+$11.27) +0.30% (+$1.00) -2.62% (-$8.63) -1.11% (-$3.64) Summer
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) $391.96 +3.02% (+$11.84) +0.78% (+$3.06) -1.40% (-$5.50) -2.40% (-$9.40) Fall
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) $421.35 -1.13% (-$4.78) +2.18% (+$9.19) -2.93% (-$12.34) +1.88% (+$7.93) Summer
Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) $369.66 +2.05% (+$7.59) +1.13% (+$4.16) -2.96% (-$10.93) -0.22% (-$0.83) Summer
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) $364.88 -0.28% (-$1.02) +1.22% (+$4.44) -2.87% (-$10.46) +1.93% (+$7.05) Summer
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) $458.58 +1.01% (+$4.63) +0.00% ($0) -0.42% (-$1.95) -0.59% (-$2.70) Fall
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) $397.16 +3.47% (+$13.77) +1.46% (+$5.79) -2.85% (-$11.33) -2.07% (-$8.24) Summer
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) $426.05 +1.29% (+$5.49) -1.38% (-$5.88) -1.28% (-$5.46) +1.37% (+$5.85) Spring
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) $362.86 +0.82% (+$2.99) +1.25% (+$4.54) -3.12% (-$11.30) +1.04% (+$3.76) Summer
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) $354.21 +0.46% (+$1.63) +1.96% (+$6.96) -1.19% (-$4.20) -1.24% (-$4.39) Fall
Orlando International Airport (MCO) $283.22 +4.11% (+$11.65) +0.57% (+$1.61) -2.62% (-$7.43) -2.06% (-$5.83) Summer
Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) $415.38 +4.32% (+$17.95) -0.16% (-$0.66) -1.90% (-$7.91) -2.26% (-$9.38) Fall
McCarran International Airport (LAS) $254.62 +3.19% (+$8.11) +2.01% (+$5.11) -3.17% (-$8.06) -2.03% (-$5.16) Summer
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) $407.57 +1.66% (+$6.77) +0.97% (+$3.94) -2.07% (-$8.43) -0.56% (-$2.28) Summer
San Diego International Airport (SAN) $366.40 -0.49% (-$1.78) +2.34% (+$8.56) -1.79% (-$6.57) -0.06% (-$0.21) Summer
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) $409.55 +2.36% (+$9.66) +0.57% (+$2.33) -2.39% (-$9.77) -0.54% (-$2.22) Summer
Baltimore–Washington International Airport (BWI) $337.52 +0.51% (+$1.73) +0.80% (+$2.71) -1.03% (-$3.48) -0.28% (-$0.95) Summer
Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (FLL) $268.85 +3.60% (+$9.68) -0.05% (-$0.14) -1.61% (-$4.32) -1.94% (-$5.21) Fall

 

the methodology

 

We looked at five years of domestic airfare data from the nation’s 20 busiest airports—courtesy of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Then, we bucketed the data into seasons, and compared those prices to overall average airfare for each airport over the entire five-year period.

 

Because the majority of business data is organized within the quarters of a fiscal year, we assigned astromical seasons to their closest corresponding fiscal quarters:

-Winter is January, February, and March, or Q1

-Spring is April, May, and June, or Q2

-Summer is July, August, and September, or Q3

-Fall is October, November, and December, or Q4

 

The numbers are all based on when flights are taken rather than when they're booked, so this information will be most useful in helping you plan when to take a vacation, not when to hop online and buy the ticket. For information on how to save if your dates are set, check out our guide to Groupon Getaways and our Best Travel Deals roundup (updated weekly).

 

Questions about the data? Email sschulfer@groupon.com.

 

With over 8 million domestic departures per year, the U.S. airline industry provides an almost inconceivable amount of travel options. It can be great if you’re looking to book a last-minute weekend flight to the Wisconsin Dells, but if you’re obsessed with finding the absolute best deal on flights, it can be a little overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact, that finding the lowest fare has become a cottage industry: What time of day? What day of the week? What month?

 

So we here at Groupon Coupons thought we’d run some numbers—courtesy of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. There's more on methodology below, but let's jump into the numbers first.

 

 

At every airport we analyzed, flights that depart during the summer have cheaper fares than the average, but five airports actually have their lowest fares during the fall: Atlanta, Newark, Phoenix, Minneapolis-St.Paul, and Fort Lauderdale. Flying out of these cities? Do it in the fall.

 

And while summer is cheap everywhere, some airports can be considered more “summer airports” than others: Chicago’s O’Hare has the most heavily discounted summer flights of all 20 airports and NYC’s LaGuardia only has cheaper-than-average airfare during the summer.

 

Only one airport has its cheapest fares on spring flights: Ladies and gentlemen, the shimmering jewel of American airports, New York City’s JFK International Airport.

 

On the flipside, flights departing during the winter months tend to be higher than each airport’s five-year average for all but four airports: Seattle-Tacoma and all three of the big California airports (LAX, SAN, SFO). It’s cheaper to fly out of airports on the west coast during the winter than it is the east coast.

 

Winter fares tend to rise highest in the midwest and south: Minneapolis, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Dallas all jack up their prices when the colder months roll through.

 

the data

 

Airport 5-Year Average Fare Winter Price Change Spring Price Change Summer Price Change Fall Price Change Cheapest Season
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) $392.19 -1.03% (-$4.06) +2.08% (+$8.15) -2.04% (-$8.01) 1.00% (+$3.91) Summer
O'Hare International Airport (ORD) $365.02 +4.33% (+$15.80) +0.69% (+$2.52) -3.56% (-$13.00) -1.46% (-$5.33) Summer
Denver International Airport (DEN) $328.98 +3.43% (+$11.27) +0.30% (+$1.00) -2.62% (-$8.63) -1.11% (-$3.64) Summer
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) $391.96 +3.02% (+$11.84) +0.78% (+$3.06) -1.40% (-$5.50) -2.40% (-$9.40) Fall
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) $421.35 -1.13% (-$4.78) +2.18% (+$9.19) -2.93% (-$12.34) +1.88% (+$7.93) Summer
Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) $369.66 +2.05% (+$7.59) +1.13% (+$4.16) -2.96% (-$10.93) -0.22% (-$0.83) Summer
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) $364.88 -0.28% (-$1.02) +1.22% (+$4.44) -2.87% (-$10.46) +1.93% (+$7.05) Summer
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) $458.58 +1.01% (+$4.63) +0.00% ($0) -0.42% (-$1.95) -0.59% (-$2.70) Fall
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) $397.16 +3.47% (+$13.77) +1.46% (+$5.79) -2.85% (-$11.33) -2.07% (-$8.24) Summer
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) $426.05 +1.29% (+$5.49) -1.38% (-$5.88) -1.28% (-$5.46) +1.37% (+$5.85) Spring
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) $362.86 +0.82% (+$2.99) +1.25% (+$4.54) -3.12% (-$11.30) +1.04% (+$3.76) Summer
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) $354.21 +0.46% (+$1.63) +1.96% (+$6.96) -1.19% (-$4.20) -1.24% (-$4.39) Fall
Orlando International Airport (MCO) $283.22 +4.11% (+$11.65) +0.57% (+$1.61) -2.62% (-$7.43) -2.06% (-$5.83) Summer
Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) $415.38 +4.32% (+$17.95) -0.16% (-$0.66) -1.90% (-$7.91) -2.26% (-$9.38) Fall
McCarran International Airport (LAS) $254.62 +3.19% (+$8.11) +2.01% (+$5.11) -3.17% (-$8.06) -2.03% (-$5.16) Summer
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) $407.57 +1.66% (+$6.77) +0.97% (+$3.94) -2.07% (-$8.43) -0.56% (-$2.28) Summer
San Diego International Airport (SAN) $366.40 -0.49% (-$1.78) +2.34% (+$8.56) -1.79% (-$6.57) -0.06% (-$0.21) Summer
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) $409.55 +2.36% (+$9.66) +0.57% (+$2.33) -2.39% (-$9.77) -0.54% (-$2.22) Summer
Baltimore–Washington International Airport (BWI) $337.52 +0.51% (+$1.73) +0.80% (+$2.71) -1.03% (-$3.48) -0.28% (-$0.95) Summer
Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (FLL) $268.85 +3.60% (+$9.68) -0.05% (-$0.14) -1.61% (-$4.32) -1.94% (-$5.21) Fall

 

the methodology

 

We looked at five years of domestic airfare data from the nation’s 20 busiest airports—courtesy of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Then, we bucketed the data into seasons, and compared those prices to overall average airfare for each airport over the entire five-year period.

 

Because the majority of business data is organized within the quarters of a fiscal year, we assigned astromical seasons to their closest corresponding fiscal quarters:

-Winter is January, February, and March, or Q1

-Spring is April, May, and June, or Q2

-Summer is July, August, and September, or Q3

-Fall is October, November, and December, or Q4

 

The numbers are all based on when flights are taken rather than when they're booked, so this information will be most useful in helping you plan when to take a vacation, not when to hop online and buy the ticket. For information on how to save if your dates are set, check out our guide to Groupon Getaways and our Best Travel Deals roundup (updated weekly).

 

Questions about the data? Email sschulfer@groupon.com.