Just-released report unlocks how to save money on flights
The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) is the world’s most comprehensive source of passenger air travel data. For the fourth year in a row, ARC has collaborated with Expedia to produce the ARC 2018 Air Travel Outlook Report. While it’s impossible to guarantee when travelers will find the lowest fares, the data reveals some trends regarding the best times to book a trip. Knowledge is power… and in this case, money. Read on!
1/When to book
If you’re a loyal KidTripster reader, you’ll remember that last year’s ARC report indicated that Saturday was the best day to book your online travel. That has changed. Sunday is now the best day to sit in front of your computer and book economy flights - both domestic and international. (The most expensive day to book an international flight? Friday.)
If you’re flying first- or business-class, you’ll get the best price if you book your ticket online on Saturday or Sunday.
2/How far in advance to book
Despite popular belief in the benefits of last-minute bookings, economy fares tend to increase as departure dates gets closer, according the ARC’s report. For most economy air travel, booking more than 30 days ahead of your departure (or even earlier) will yield the cheapest fares. The same holds true for first- or business-class tickets. Bottom line: don’t procrastinate.
However, the data reveals a couple of routes that have a sweet spot between 30-40 days. If you book on either side of those days, prices will tend to be higher. Within the USA, the New York City to Orlando route and the Miami to New York route both display this pattern. This model is also common on these Asia routes: Taipei to Shanghai, Seoul to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Beijing or Seoul, mainland China to Seoul and Hong Kong as well as India-Dubai flights.
3/What day to depart
Based on ARC’s flight data, the best days to start an international journey are Thursdays or Fridays. The most expensive days to start an international flight? Saturdays or Sundays.
The cheapest fares for departing on domestic economy flights varies widely by origin, so don’t worry about that when booking.
The cheapest days to depart if you’re on a first- or business-class ticket on either a domestic or international flight? Fridays or Saturdays.
As a former investigative consumer reporter, nothing gives editor Shellie Bailey-Shah more joy that finding a killer deal on travel.