The folks at Expedia know a thing or two about saving money when booking air travel. Now, just in time to help as you make travel plans, they have shared some money-saving tips in a new report.
Expedia’s “2023 Air Travel Hacks Report,” created with Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), leverages insight from its global air ticketing database to offer suggestions about key information such as the best day of the week to book airfare as well as how far in advance tickets should be booked.
“As we head into the holidays and a brand-new year, many travelers have already expanded their travel plans and aspirations,” Expedia’s writers note. “But, if we’ve learned anything from 2022, traveling isn’t always so simple, as we encounter unpredictable flight prices, delays, and cancellations.”
Jon Gieselman, president of Expedia Brands, adds that using the new report along with the Price Tracking and Predictions feature on the Expedia app does more than save users money.
“It’s about the time savings and peace of mind that comes with knowing you have machine learning informing your booking decisions and a tool at your fingertips that does the work of price tracking for you,” Gieselman said in a statement.
So, let’s get right to it. Here are some ways travelers can save time and money when booking airfare.
The Best Time To Book Airfare
To save money, the best day to book airfare is Sunday, according to Expedia’s 2023 Air Travel Hacks Report. The research found that over the past four years, travelers who booked airfare on Sundays instead of Fridays saved, on average, about five percent on domestic flights and 15 percent on international flights.
The research also found that while people generally plan a trip to begin on Sunday or Monday, they can save money by not starting their trip at the beginning of the week. That’s because travelers who traveled on Wednesday rather than Sunday or Monday saved, on average, 15 percent on domestic flights. For international flights, travelers who departed on Wednesday saved around 10 percent by not leaving on Saturday or Sunday.
Next, travelers should plan to book tickets for domestic flights at least a month before, which typically saves around 10 percent over booking two or three weeks before departure. What’s more, the “sweet spot” for getting the best airfare price tends to be between 28 and 35 days before departure, the report continues.
Finally, if you like to make plans in advance, try to avoid the temptation to book airfare too far in advance.
The reason why is that although you may be able to book your preferred flight far in advance, Expedia’s research found that domestic airfare is most expensive between 3.5 and 6 months before departure.
How To Avoid Flight Disruptions
If you’d like to do as much as you can to mitigate the risk of flight disruptions, Expedia’s report offers two key suggestions.
First, avoid planning travel during peak travel periods.
“Data shows that avoiding the peak travel periods can have more benefits than just cost-savings,” the report explains. “Historically, flight delays were shorter during March and April compared to the busy summer months, dropping by about 40 minutes. As summer wound down, delays began to shorten again, making fall an appealing time for air travel.”
Travelers who want to minimize the chance of flight disruptions should also plan to travel early in the day.
“Based on year-to-date flight status data, flights that depart after 3 p.m. have the highest chance of being canceled,” the report continues. “Those flights have a 50 percent higher chance, on average, of being canceled than those that depart earlier in the day.”
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