The cheapest day of the week to book flights, AA sued for shutdowns and 2023’s best US airlines (Saturday Selection)


AA is getting sued over account shutdowns and mileage clawbacks, the Wall Street Journal releases its annual ranking of US airlines and, is there really a “cheapest” day of the week to book airfare? All that and more in this week’s Saturday Selection, our weekly round-up of interesting tidbits from around the interwebs (links to each article are embedded in the titles).

Is there a “cheapest” day of the week to book airfare?

a person sitting at a computer

I’m often a bit wary of the many travel tips that find their way into the media, like dressing up to score a flight upgrade (and for god’s sake, never, ever, ever wear jeans). So, it was with a bit of skepticism that I started reading Bankrate’s recent article, “What’s the cheapest day to book flights?” Most of it offers fairly banal advice, like booking with a points-earning credit card, flying mid-week and avoiding peak travel times. But there was an interesting nugget, taken from Expedia’s 2024 Travel Hacks Report: for three years in a row, Sunday has been the cheapest day to book (not fly) travel. In 2023, travelers who booked their flights on Sunday saved ~6% on domestic flights and ~10% on international flights when compared with the worst purchasing day of the week: Friday (Expedia doesn’t provide data on the other days in-between). I wouldn’t have guessed that there was a “best” day to book flights, assuming that prices across thousands of flights would vary from day-to-day and that the averages would even out over time. Turns out that’s not true. So, next time you hit the Sunday evening couch to binge on The Great British Bake Off, remember that it just might just be the perfect time to check the price on that flight to Hawai’i.

American Airlines sued over account shutdowns and miles seizures

Throughout 2019 and 2020, American Airlines AAdvantage members suffered through a wave of account shutdowns. AA primarily went after folks who had opened multiple credit cards using snail-mailers, as well as links that didn’t contain any of AA”s normal 48-month churning language (for more detail see this FlyerTalk thread). These sorts of “AAdvantageous” credit card signups had been going on for some time, but AA finally decided that it had enough new cardmembers to report and banned the “repeat offenders.” Not only did the company close those folks’ respective AAdvantage accounts, but it also confiscated all of the miles in them as well. Some unfortunate souls had losses of well over one million miles. Now, the tables have turned and a couple from San Diego, who lost almost 1.1 million miles, is going after AA in a proposed class action suit. They’re claiming that AA didn’t give them any clear reason as to why their accounts were closed outside of “violations related to the accrual of ineligible miles and benefits; through fraud, misrepresentation and/or abuse of the AAdvantage Program.” However, the couple says that they were falsely accused of fraud, since the links that they used for the respective Citi and Barclays AA cards didn’t have any 48-month language, thus there was no violation of any terms. Effectively they’re arguing that, if there was an issue, it was AA, Citi and Barclays that screwed up and they shouldn’t be left holding the (empty) bag. Grab some popcorn kids, this one will be very interesting.

How to avoid flying on a Boeing 737 MAX 9 (or any other aircraft)

Boeing’s 737 MAX program has had a rough go of it. The much-hyped fourth generation of Boeing’s workhorse 737 was grounded from 2019-2020 by various aviation authorities after two crashes that were due to a recurring failure in a component of its guidance system. Those tragic incidents resulted in ~350 deaths and cost Boeing somewhere around 60-80 billion dollars in fines, compensation and cancelled orders. The aircraft gradually returned to service throughout 2021, but then recently suffered yet another grounding, this time due to the well-known “explosive decompression” on a 737 MAX 9 operated by Alaska Airlines, in which the aircraft lost a full panel from its fuselage mid-flight. After all this, there’s some folks who are understandably hesitant to fly a 737 MAX 9…or a 737 MAX at all. Johnny Jet offers a couple of tips on how to avoid flying either one, or any other aircraft, by using the aircraft filter on the search website Kayak. It allows you to select particular aircraft to include or exclude, a really cool feature that would be useful in a variety of ways, not only to avoid flying some planes but also to select aircraft that you do want to fly, for instance because of a specific business class product. I don’t ever use Kayak, so I’ve never noticed this before, but it’s pretty nifty. Hopefully, it will catch on at other search engines as well.

The best (and worst) US Airlines of 2023

Delta Airlines Delta One

Last week the Wall Street Journal unveiled the 2023 results of its annual ranking of the major US airlines. It judges nine airlines using seven measurable factors: baggage handling, complaints, flight cancellations, involuntary bumping, on-time performance, 2hr+ tarmac delays and 45+ minute delays. To no one’s surprise, JetBlue took home the glory, laying claim to being the worst airline in the US. JetBlue positively dominated the competition, taking 9th place in four out of the seven categories, proving to everyone that its (blocked) purchase of 7th place Spirit Airlines really was an attempt to improve its performance. American managed to vault into fifth place above United this year, despite AA’s unsurprising 9th-place finish in baggage handling. Videos showing American baggage handlers playing demolition derby with passengers’ wheelchairs probably didn’t help the ranking. Oh, and who won? Delta, of course. For the second year in a row, it was king of the US “Air Lines;” tops in being on-time, bumping and complaints (sounds a lot like Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). That said, Delta’s rival Alaska blew the doors off as well, nipping at Delta’s heels and winning two categories itself. With that kind of competition, the 2024 rankings promise to be a true “Battle in Seattle,” as long as Alaska doesn’t have its screws loose.

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Can we do the same suit against Capital’s $200 Referral/Sign Up issue?


Back in 1998, I had an economy ticket on Virgin Atlantic for EWR-LGW with departure around 7pm. I was working in NYC midtown and did not have time to change out of my suit so I went straight to the airport. The traffic was awful and I checked in about an hour before departure. They did not have a seat assignment for me so the attendant asked me to wait on the side. By this time I was just relieved I made the flight. A few minutes go by and the attendant waves me over and tells me, “OK sir, you’ve been upgraded to Upper Class, enjoy your flight!”

I was shocked at my incredible luck, and thinking back I’m pretty sure wearing the suit played some role in the upgrade. This was many years ago, and upgrade procedures have changed a lot, but it does not hurt to look good to score some extra airline benefits.


Methodology isn’t quite explained here. The original document appears to be an Expedia press release, which isn’t my usual source of unbiased data analysis. Wondering if the fact that comparatively little business travel is booked on Sundays means price-conscious leisure travelers are dominating the searches. Is it that better prices are available on Sundays, or that the people who book on Sundays are, as a whole, price conscious and gravitate to lower fares.

Johnny Jet

Thanks for mentioning my tip. FYI My name is Johnny Jet not Johnny the Jet 😉
Also, here’s a link to the post

Johnny Jet

Thanks for the quick response and fix


Small correction: the plaintiffs in the AA suit are “Los Gatos, California residents” – and Los Gatos isn’t anywhere near San Diego 🙂

DC not in DC

Thanks for the link to Expedia’s 2024 Air Travel Hacks Report. It appears the report is based on revenue tix (dollars), not award tix (miles). Interesting that Sunday is both the cheapest day to book and the most expensive day to fly.

Last edited 2 months ago by DC not in DC

just booked a domestic award ticket on Delta.

First checked on Thursday – 23k miles.

Was going to book on Friday – then it popped up to 27.5k.

Still considering to book at that price. Went to book on Saturday (today) and it had dropped to 21k.

Will it be less tomorrow?

There ya go.


sunday – today – it shows as 23k miles again. so i guess i got the best award price.

saturday – people go out and have fun and don’t think about traveling?

or maybe people book on Friday, then change their mind (24 hours) on Saturday? They cancel – then the seats available goes up again?