From most parts of the world—regardless of destination—average ticket prices (ATPs) for economy and premium cabins tend to rise as the departure date gets closer. Waiting to book at the last minute can be an expensive gamble. Booking three weeks ahead of a trip is the “sweet spot” for fare savings.
Economy and premium cabin ATPs tend to be lower when booked on a weekend, usually on a Sunday. (New Zealand is one exception, where Tuesday is usually the least expensive day to book air travel.) Many people save up to 20%, and some can save as much as 36% by booking on a Sunday. The most expensive tickets tend to be booked on Thursdays and Fridays.
Drawing from Expedia Group’s inventory of more than 895,000 properties offered, data analysts compared the average daily rates (ADR) across different reservation days. Results reveal travelers generally find lowest ADRs on Fridays. Unlike airfares, the most expensive day to book a hotel is generally on a Sunday.
Global trends show ATPs for most economy and premium cabin travel are lowest for flights departing on a Thursday or Friday. Travelers can save around 10% on airfares simply by choosing flights that take off on Thursday or Friday. Cost-conscious travelers should avoid starting their journey on a Sunday, as those trips generally have the highest ATP.
For almost 75% of the weekday-only trips analyzed, the cost of economy class airfares dropped when the trip was extended to include a Saturday night. By extending weekday travel (Monday-Friday) to include a Saturday night in-destination, travelers can save around 25% of the weekday-only return fare. In other words, stay a bit longer in destination and you’ll probably save money on the total cost of the flights. For some popular corporate travel destinations, where weekday travel is in high demand, the data shows return-airfare costs can be almost halved if travelers add a Saturday stay to a weekday trip. The London-New York City route is one example.
Deciding on the right flight can be time-consuming and complex. Research reveals people can make up to 50 searches online before deciding on which flight to book. To help travelers search and book with more confidence, ARC present additional findings to ease the search experience.
Comparing the cost of non-stop, one-stop and two-stop journeys between a range of popular destinations revealed value is in the eye of the beholder. For many, a stretch or the chance for a stopover may be valued more than the cost. For others, the
convenience of non-stop travel wins out.
Travelers can face a conundrum when weighing their unique travel needs against the many available fare options. The best choice of fare type comes down to more than price—it will depend on the underlying motivator that is most important to the individual: cost, flexibility, or comfort.
Analysts compared ATPs and commodity pricing trends over five years to investigate short term impacts of oil/jet fuel pricing changes on economy cabin airfares.
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