Everyone wants to know when is the best time to book flights because everyone loves a bargain. Noone wants to pay over the odds for a ticket that if they tweaked by a day or even the time of day could have saved them a few quid.
Flights go on sale 11 months in advance. The best time to book tickets depends on the destination you are travelling to, and the time of year you will be departing. Rule of thumb, the best time to book is five weeks before your departure date, but it is best to watch and monitor the flights on different websites to get a prediction on when best to book.
Compare The Market
Whenever searching for flights utilise the price comparison websites such as Kayak and Skyscanner, as well as the individual airline’s webpage. This way you have the full scope of prices so you can get the best deal. When browsing, it is always advisable to reset your browsing history and cookies, to get the best deal. Sign up for email alerts and follow airlines on social media to get ahead and notified of any upcoming promotions.
Should I Wait For A Sale?
Airlines tend to have their sales in January and September. If you are travelling in the school holidays, these routes will not be included in sales. This is the same for high demand routes with infrequent flights, they will not feature in sales.
Vary The Time of Day and Day of The Week
Getting an early morning flight can not only be cheaper but in the event of the flight being cancelled, it is easier to get the same day alternative. If you are flying long haul but within a similar time zone, it is best to get a morning flight to reduce jet lag.
Avoid Booking and Travelling On Weekends
According to Skyscanner’s review of data, they found that the best day to book flights is on a Monday and the worse on a Saturday, where the price can be 5% higher! Flying on a Friday tends to be the cheapest option, compared to a Sunday which can be 18% more expensive according to the same research. Great news for city breaks!
Look For Nearby Airports
Depending on your route, flying from a more prominent or busier airport can actually be cheaper than from a smaller airport. If an airport has a high number of flights to the same destination, it is more likely to have more competitive priced flights. This being said if you are saving £20 on a plane, and getting to that airport is a £30 taxi journey, is it really worth it?
Book Different Airlines
When comparing prices of flights, a pretty easy way of lowering the cost is by using a different airline for each leg of your journey. If you are flying from London to Rome, you might fly with one airline there as a one-way ticket and a different airline on the return. I would not advise using different airlines for connecting flights, as if your first flight is delayed for any reason, it may be difficult or expensive to rearrange your next flight. If your connecting flight is with the same airline, they are obligated to make alternative arrangements.
Save Up Your Miles
If you tend to fly with the same airline often, sign up for their frequent flyer programme. Do your research first: does it cost money to join and how difficult it is to collect points or miles? Does it include any other airlines? Is there a limit on when you can use points? Does it link to a store card that you can get more points (such as Tesco Clubcard and Avios points for British Airways)? Can you connect a credit or debit card to a frequent flyer programme?
Utilise Airline Partnerships
Some airlines form partnerships and alliances or share flight routes. If you shop around between these partnerships, you might be able to get a better deal. From example, flying British Airways between London and Belfast, if you look at Aer Lingus directly, you may be surprised at the savings that you could make.
What would be your number one flight booking hack?