Millions of people from all over the world travel to New York City each year to experience the unique culture, an into-the-wee-hours night scene rich in fine dining, music and Broadway shows. And, of course, the city’s many eminent landmarks, from Times Square, the Freedom Tower and the Statue of Liberty to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the “Met”) and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
When Is the Cheapest Time to Go to New York?
Although visitors spend a lot of money once they arrive in New York, the cost of just getting there from abroad can quickly test any vacationer’s budget. Fortunately, it’s possible to save money on flights by traveling during certain times of the year. Certain days of the week may also be cheaper – but not always the ones you expect. Here, we show you the cheapest times to travel on three of the busiest air-travel routes into NYC: London, Paris and Frankfurt.
According to travel search engine skyscanner.com, the cheapest months to travel from London to New York are March, November, December (except for the holiday week), January and February. The most expensive months are July and August.
March airfares shown on Google Flights, for example, are just under $400 for most of the month and rise modestly to about $650 for most of April and May. At the end of June, however, airfares start to climb closer to $900. By the peak season – July and August – you can expect to pay more than $1,000. Fall fares are similar to those in the spring, hovering in the $600 to $700 range. On some days, you might be able to find flights under $600.
Skyscanner.com shows similar trends out of Paris. The cheapest months to travel are March, early April, October, November and during the winter months (except over the holidays). As from London, the most expensive times to fly are July and August.
A peek at fares on Google Flights show fares range between $450 and $550 for most days during March and April. By late April, prices start to rise ahead of the expensive summer months, with fares of about $650. By late June, travelers can expect to pay closer to $900, and fares remain there for the rest of summer. Prices drop off at by end of August, and fares for September, October, and November settle back to the $550 to $650 range.
Frankfurt has similar fare trends, as well, according to Skyscanner.com. Fares are cheapest during early spring, late fall and during the winter months (again, with the exception of the holidays). As from London and Paris, the most expensive time to fly is during the summer months, particularly July and August.
A quick search on Google Flights shows fares are about $550 to $650 for much of spring, even heading into late June and early July. By the second week of July, however, prices spike to a little under $900 and remain there until mid-August. Fall fares are similar to those of the spring and settle back to the $550 to $700 range, with a small peak in prices for the winter holiday season.
The Bottom Line
Keep in mind that airfares fluctuate constantly – changing day by day, and even minute by minute – and you may not be able to reproduce these exact results. Supply and demand, fuel prices, holidays and even large events can all affect ticket prices.
While some routes are cheaper if you fly mid-week, that isn’t always the case with the routes into NYC. Some weeks you may be able to find the cheapest fares on a Tuesday or Wednesday, and other weeks the best fare will be on a Saturday. You’ll be able to get the best deal if you travel during the cheaper months (i.e., not July and August), and if you have some flexibility in your travel dates.
Google Flights, as well as some other online airfare aggregators (including Kayak and Travelocity), have flexible travel-date searches. This lets you see fares for a specific date (say, April 18), as well as for the surrounding dates (the weeks leading up to and just after that date).
It can also be helpful to sign up for price alerts that send email or text fare updates for a specified route – say, Paris to New York – so you’ll know right away if there’s a drop in fares. For more strategies, see Top Cheap Travel Websites and Best Ways To Purchase Cheap Airline Tickets.