Anyone looking to score a deal on flights, save on travel or get a free upgrade has encountered their fair share of myths. When it comes to money, there’s no shortage of so-called “experts” or influencers peddling bad intel.
We’ve heard some of these mistakes over and over — and we bet you have, too. We’ve finally had enough: it’s time to end this.
These are probably some of the most common myths you’ve heard – or believe yourself – that you should finally put to rest.
“Tuesdays are the best days to book cheap flights!”
This is an immortal myth.
You’ve probably heard it from friends, colleagues, and travel influencers. It has been passed down for decades, “Tuesday is the cheapest day to book flights.
There’s just one problem: It’s not true. Not even close.
This old myth about booking cheap flights by searching on Tuesdays is simply out of date: you can find great deals on flights any day of the week. And big travel days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Travel Tuesday are more about shopping than actual savings. Read our lips: there is no better day to book flights.
Trust me: our team of flight deal analysts spend all day, every day searching for the cheapest fares to fly. Economy traveler premium Members. The best deals and sales don’t happen just one day a week. In fact, every day of the year we find cheap flights, wrong fares, and unadvertised award sales. A dirt cheap flight pops up any day of the week.
This is the reality. Flight Prices change regularly. Airlines upload new fares every hour, and at any time they can add or subtract how many flights are available at a given price. We’re sorry to say, but this means it’s completely unpredictable when the cheapest prices might pop up on the flights you’re looking for.
We’re not the only ones perpetuating this myth – even the undisputed king of cheap flights, Google Flights, backs us up on this one. Last year they crunched the numbers and a Easy, save 1.9% when you book your flights on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday Not on Saturday or Sunday in the last five years.
So stop waiting until 11.59pm on Monday to start your search and book. It will do you no good.
Read more: The best day to book flights is not what you think…
This is perhaps the worst myth of all. He has been featured in countless travel tiki toks, Instagram reels, and major publications. So talk to us…
Searching for Incognito Flight doesn’t do anything, nor does clearing your cookies work. Airlines and major travel booking sites do not track your searches, period.
At Thrifty Traveler, we find flight deals for a living: we’re looking for flights all day, every day. If airlines were tracking our searches, we wouldn’t be finding cheap flights. And believe me, we do.
Check out some of the cheapest flights we’ve found for this summer!
However, this myth has caught on because it provides a simple explanation for the all-too-common question: Why did the flight price you were looking at jump only hours, perhaps minutes, after you last looked at it?
The idea that you’re tracking is a simple explanation for why the flight price you were looking at changed to book one hour later. Requiring incognito or clearing cookies for a flight can make travelers feel empowered — beating the airlines.
But it’s just not true. Airlines are not tracking your searches. Neither Google Flights nor most other search engines and online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia, Hopper and Priceline. Your flight price is not affected by your previous searches.
So what gives? Why do prices increase from minute to minute? The reality is that airfares are incredibly volatile, and they’re always changing. Airlines change their prices regularly as tickets are sold and demanded.
One simple explanation behind the sudden price change is something called airlines. Tariff section. When you walk on the plane and you’re looking at economy and first class, airlines sell tickets in what’s called a letter class – and it’s literally a letter, as many airlines have a fare level for each letter. This is a small slice of United Airlines fare classes.
Here’s the bottom line: Each fare class has its own price. So when the cheapest fare class goes on sale – or an airline simply decides to get rid of that fare class – the price goes up to the next, higher-priced class. When someone buys this last $157 Delta ticket from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Las Vegas (LAS), then you will see a higher price. That same situation applies constantly.
Bloggers and influencers pass off these “travel hacks” as if they’ve stumbled upon a big secret. It’s a simple, easy-to-understand explanation that travelers want to believe. But the truth is that these are myths – they are flat out lies.
“Dress nice and the airline can upgrade you for free!”
You can wear a full tuxedo, a top hat and a Monopoly-man monocle and it still won’t make a difference. Wearing a suit does not get you into first class on your economy ticket.
If you’re dressed to the nines or in sweats, the chances of getting a free seat up front are slim. You might get lucky if the economy cabin is sold out, but that’s extremely rare – and has nothing to do with your outfit. You have three real options for getting into first or business class: book that ticket with your money (or points and miles); Paying to upgrade before departure; Or get an extra upgrade if you earn an advanced status with the airline.
These days, getting a free upgrade is all about status. Whether you have Delta Medallion status, American AAdvantage status, or United MileagePlus status, it’s all the same: the more you fly (and, increasingly, the more you spend) each year. But after years of promotions and automatic renewals that made it easy to get benefits, even a top tier level is often not enough to qualify for a free upgrade. The competition for these upgrades is tight.
Buying a cheap ticket and upgrading later is not always a sure thing. Ninety-nine times out of 100, your best bet is to reserve that business-class price from the start rather than leaning toward an upgrade.
Check out our best ways to get front row seats using points and miles!
“You have to get foreign currency at home or change your dollars at the airport!”
Whether you have US dollars, euros, pounds, pesos, or anything else, carrying a week’s worth of cash (or more) on your trip is just asking for trouble. And changing all your money on the ground at once is just asking to be ripped off by weak exchange rates.
There is a much better way: Use a travel debit card and spend the money you need on the go… without paying a cent in ATM fees.
It has been our journey for years Charles Schwab Debit Card. This free checking account is a must-have in any traveler’s bag because it means you’ll never pay ATM fees, whether in the US or abroad. But the process of setting up a Schwab account is a little more complicated: you have to set up a brokerage account to get a Schwab checking account and an ATM card. Both accounts are free, and there’s no minimum required.
But there are plenty of other fee-free ATM cards you can consider adding to your wallet for your travels. It is another strong competitor brand. Improvement.
Similar to the Charles Schwab Investor Checking Account, only better Unlimited ATM withdrawals and Does not include foreign currency conversion fees.It makes another good choice for travelers. Unlike the Schwab card, you don’t need a separate brokerage account to get started.
We don’t pay to promote any of these cards: we think they’re the best options for travelers, allowing you to put an end to the myth of carrying cash.
Just call us Travel Legend Busters.
This is a piece of bad intel passed down over the years that so many travelers have accepted as fact. These bad myths are holding you back from a rewarding (and inexpensive) trip.