Don Ryan, AP
This file photo from July 20, 2009, shows a plane flying into Oregon's Portland International Airport.
This file photo from July 20, 2009, shows a plane flying into Oregon's Portland International Airport. less
You've probably heard that the best day to shop for airline tickets is Tuesday, a day that fare sales are often announced.
Scratch that, according to new data out Wednesday from The Wall Street Journal .
An in-depth analysis of round-trip airline ticket purchases through online and traditional travel agencies found that Sunday is actually the best day to nab the lowest price.
NOW DEPARTING: Read more from Dawn Gilbertson's blog at The Arizona Republic
The lowest average ticket price in the 19-month period covered, $432, was found on Sunday, Scott McCartney — the newspaper's veteran airline columnist — reports in the Journal . Saturday wasn't far behind, at $439.
The average fare on Tuesdays, according to the data from Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC), was $497. That's the lowest point for the weekday The worst days: Monday, Thursday and Friday. The
average fares on those days was $503, $501 and $502, respectively, according to the report.
ARC processes about half of the airline tickets sold. The data excludes tickets purchased directly from airlines.
McCartney notes that one factor that might skew ARC's results in favor of Sunday is the lack of corporate ticket purchases on weekends. Business travelers tend to buy pricier tickets because they book at the last minute or want tickets with fewer restrictions.
Changing consumer behavior is at work, too, though. A Southwest Airlines executive told McCartney that the use of computer tablets such as the iPad have made airfare shopping on the weekends more popular.
The newspaper's analysis of ticket purchases found that 57 days before departure is the magic number for finding the lowest price. That's up from 42 in 2012.
Dawn Gilbertson is a travel reporter at The Arizona Republic and the author of that newspaper's Now Departing blog. Her content also is occasionally featured here in Ben Mutzabaugh's Today in the Sky blog . The Republic is owned by Gannett, parent company of USA TODAY.