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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, ever-changing travel restrictions have meant that, at times, the demand for flight tickets has plummeted. As a result of fluctuating demand, prices have risen and subsequently fallen.
Though current restrictions vary around the world following the rise in cases due to the Omicron variant, there is some hope that 2022 will be a far more successful year for overseas travel than the two prior.
In a bid to help travellers snap up the best flight deals, Expedia has partnered with Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) for the seventh year to help customers save money.
Based on data from ARC, average ticket prices (ATPs), airfares hit their lowest levels over December 2020 and January 2021, though as confidence in travel grew, and with a steady increase in demand, particularly over the summer, ticket prices have started to normalise to pre-pandemic levels.
ATPs for international flights have also steadily increased in 2021, however, they remain approximately 15 percent lower than 2019.
According to the experts from Expedia: “Knowing what day to book, how far in advance, and what day to travel is key to unlocking savings.”
When is the cheapest time to book a flight?
Based on the research, the best time to travel depends both on how far in advance you are booking and on the day of the week you are choosing to secure your flight.
For domestic flights, the analysis shows that Britons have started to book their trips further in advance.
Expedia states: “Share of flights booked nine and more weeks in advance increased from an average of 20 percent in 2019 to an average of 25 percent in 2021.”
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Based on a supply and demand model, you are likely to need to book before this window in order to get the lowest prices.
The same applies to international flights, which data shows are being booked even further in advance.
Expedia said: “For international flights, the share of flights booked nine and more weeks in advance increased from an average of 40 percent in 2019 to an average of 45 percent in 2020 and 50 percent in 2021.
The data also revealed the best days of the week to book flights.
According to Expedia and ARC, the ideal day to book both domestic and international flights is a Sunday.
By doing so Britons can save up to 20 percent on domestic flights and 15 percent on international flights.
In both instances, travellers should avoid purchasing airline tickets on a Friday.
Which is the cheapest day of the week to travel?
According to the research, the ideal day to start a domestic trip is on a Friday, where customers can make a save of approximately 20 percent.
However, Expedia warns travellers should avoid journeys on a Tuesday when costs can be higher.
Similarly, the best day of the week to fly internationally is on a Friday, with savings of around 10 percent available.
On a Wednesday, travellers may face higher costs.
Which is the cheapest month to travel?
According to Expedia: “Travellers planning their 2022 trips can also unlock huge savings by being flexible and choosing the right month to travel.”
For domestic flights, the ideal month to depart is November, where travellers can save up to 45 percent versus travelling in March.
For international flights, however, September offers better savings.
Flying in September means customers can save almost 40 percent compared with flights in December.
How can I save on premium seat tickets?
For those who have always dreamt of upgrading themselves, now could be the ideal time.
Expedia said: “Tickets in premium economy have never been cheaper and have become more affordable over the last couple of years.
“In 2021 premium tickets were only 250 percent more expensive than economy tickets, whereas in 2020 premium tickets cost 275 percent more than an economy ticket.”
By comparison, in pre-pandemic 2019, premium tickets cost around 380 percent more than an economy ticket.
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