What Is the Best Time to Fly to New York?

Millions of people from all over the world travel to New York City each year. Many experience the unique culture and an into-the-wee-hours of the night scene rich in fine dining, music, and Broadway shows. Of course, not to be overlooked are the city’s many eminent landmarks, from Times Square, the Freedom Tower, the Statue of Liberty to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the “Met”) and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Key Takeaways

  • New York City is a major American tourist destination and a hub for the arts, business, finance, and technology.
  • Flying to New York can be cheaper by choosing mid-week flights during low-peak months and leaving from a major European hub like London, Paris, or Frankfurt.
  • Web sites such as Google Flights, Skyscanner, or Kayak can alert you when the prices of these flights drop.

Understanding When It Is Cheapest Time to Fly 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 stretch 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 to New York City: London, Paris, and Frankfurt.

From London

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, and are example, are around $300 for most of the month in 22020 and rise modestly to about $450 for most of April and May. At the end of July and into August, however, airfares start to climb closer to $600 and $700. In other years, prices often reach well over $1,000. Fall fares are hovering in the $300 to $400 range.

From Paris

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 around $350 for most days during March and April of 2020. By the end of July, prices start to rise ahead of the expensive summer months, with fares of about $500, but again, most years will see summer prices around $1,000. Prices drop off by the end of August, and fares for September, October, and November settle back to the $300 range.

From Frankfurt

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, and prices can reach as high as $1,000.

A quick search on Google Flights shows fares are about $300 to $350 for much of spring in 2020, even heading into late June and early July. By the second week of July, however, prices spike to around $800 and remain there until mid-August. Fall fares are similar to those of the spring and settle back to the $400 to $450, with a small peak in prices for the winter holiday season.

The Bottom Line

Keep in mind that airfares constantly fluctuate—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 New York City. 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.

Special Considerations

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.