Best days to book flights?

BELLEVUE, Washington, 14 December 2017: Expedia and ARC unlock tips on how to save money on travel even including the best days to book flights.

Expedia and ARC, an air travel intelligence and commerce platform, released the findings of the fourth annual ARC Air Travel Outlook Report, Wednesday.

Expedia and ARC experts analyzed flight data, drawing on billions of data points for domestic and international air travel globally to identify patterns travellers can use to secure airfare savings in 2018.

The findings reveal how travellers can gain value-for-money by being savvy, not only about when they book a flight, but also when they start their journey. It also reveals trends travellers can use to pay less for seats in the “pointy end” of a plane.

ARC’s managing director of data science and research, Chuck Thackston stated: “It’s well understood that consumers who possess relevant information in tune with their personal preferences before they shop, will be more confident and likely to make a final purchase. With our continued strong relationship with Expedia, including Egencia, ARC is able to provide these broad-based insights on travel around the world – both leisure and corporate – that supports the continued growth of air travel and the travel industry as a whole”

While there are nuances in each  market, the report illustrates some universal air travel pricing trends.

Busting the “last minute” myth

Despite popular belief in the benefits of last-minute bookings, in most parts of the world, economy fares tend to increase as departure date gets closer.

Best booking lead time

Booking a flight more than 30 days ahead of departure is when travellers are most likely to find the lowest average ticket prices for economy and premium cabin air travel.

“Expedia is constantly looking for ways to improve the experience of booking travel. Finding patterns in data is at the core of what we do. Our algorithms use data science to analyze approximately 19 quadrillion potential flight itineraries and filter them to display the most relevant options for each journey,” said Expedia senior vice president Greg Schulze.

Best day to book for a bargain

For most international and domestic economy flights, cheapest fares are booked on a Sunday and the most expensive are booked on a Friday. For premium fares, Saturdays and Sundays are the best bargain booking days.

Best day to start a journey

The findings show that no matter where you’re headed, start your journey on a Friday.

The cheapest days-of-week to start an international air journey in the economy cabin are Thursdays and Fridays.

The cheapest days-of-week to start an international air journey in the premium cabin are Fridays and Saturdays.

“Business travel may typically take place during the week, but starting the trip on the weekend may help companies save on premium seats. This can turn a business trip to a “bleisure” (business/leisure) trip, improving traveler satisfaction and helping companies with their bottom line,” said Egencia vice president of global transport supply Tristan Smith.

What months offer the best fares?

Expedia and ARC experts compared ATPs paid for flights during a calendar month of flight departures and found:

In Asia, premium fares were highest mid-year (between April and September)

Traveling by trend –  Where is the world traveling?

Travel from and within Asia Pacific is a trend: Shanghai, Taipei and Seoul in particular are fuelling intra-Asia travel as well as inbound travel to key European airports/cities.