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These are the cheapest times to book your flights and when to travel

Picking the right day to buy tickets could save travellers almost 25 per cent

Benjamin Parker
Wednesday 27 September 2023 13:41 BST
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A few tweaks to your plans could save serious money
A few tweaks to your plans could save serious money (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Choosing the right day to book a flight can save people close to 25 per cent, with trips being even cheaper if you pick the right day to depart.

The advice comes as part of new research that found air travel is a leading cause of stress for 49 per cent of Britons, who find it more daunting than filing taxes or making small talk.

According to the 2024 Air Travel Hacks Report from booking giant Expedia, those booking return air travel from the UK on Sundays instead of on Fridays can save around 21 per cent on domestic flights and 24 per cent on international trips.

It’s the opposite way round when it comes to departing, however, with those flying on Friday saving an average of 26 per cent compared to those starting their trip on the Sunday, which is the priciest day.

The report recommends that people book their domestic flights at least five months in advance to benefit from prices 35 per cent less than if they are booked at the last minute, whereas those travelling international have the best price window eight to 23 days prior to departure for savings of up to 8 per cent – with Expedia stating that the worst time to book is 36–63 days ahead of the trip.

Of all the stressful elements of travel, experiencing a flight delay or cancellation is the most anxiety-inducing, according to the 2,000 people surveyed for the report, with 19 per cent avoiding morning flights as getting up early gives them additional stress. However, the data shows that flights departing after 3pm are 4 per cent more likely on average to be cancelled.

The annual Air Travel Hacks Report is “backed by an analysis of billions of data points and the most extensive air ticketing database in the world”, says Expedia, and completed through collaboration with Airlines Reporting Corporation and OAG, the world’s largest provider of flight information.

“Airlines are adding capacity and increasing service to meet the sustained air travel demand we’ve seen throughout 2023,” said Chuck Thackston, managing director of data science and research at ARC.

“Air travel has proven resilient over the past few years, with travellers increasingly taking to the skies for both business and leisure. Fortunately for those travellers, the cost of airfare has been below 2022 levels for most of the year.”

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