Don't book flights at the weekend, says report
Wednesday 02 February 2011
Travelers looking to score bargain flights shouldn't book on the weekends, according to an investigation by the
Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper's Middle Seat columnist Scott McCartney surveyed online travel agencies, fare trackers and airline pricing executives and found that ticket prices are highest on weekends, because airlines aren't managing the seats they have available so closely.
The best time to buy is Tuesday or Wednesday, said McCartney in his column, when competitors have matched sales started by one airline at the beginning of the week.
By Thursday or Friday, many sales have already expired, according to the article, and airlines are more likely to push up prices on a Thursday night to see if their competitors will match the prices over the weekend, before rolling them back on Monday if necessary.
The column cites FareCompare.com's Rick Seaney, who studied pricing history and concluded that 3PM eastern US time on a Tuesday was the best time to buy.
Last year, Japanese economist Makoto Watanabe and his colleagues found that the most economical time period in which to book a flight ticket is eight weeks before departure.
They also suggested that sometime in the afternoon was the best time of day, based on the assumption that business travelers were more likely to book their tickets at work in the morning.
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