‘Flight hacks report’ based on analysis of ‘billions of data points’ reveals the best day of the week to book planes, how far in advance to purchase tickets for the biggest savings and more…

Travel brand Expedia has analysed billions of booking data points so you don’t have to.

The upshot?

The ‘2024 Air Travel Hacks Report’, which contains some handy money-and-stress-saving hacks for Britons for future holidays, from the best day to book flights to how far in advance you should purchase tickets for the biggest savings. Read on for more…

WHEN TO BOOK

If you book your airfare on a Sunday you can save up to 23 per cent, according to the report.

Travellers who book on Sundays instead of Fridays tend to save, on average, around 21 per cent on domestic flights and 24 per cent on international flights, the study says.

If you book your airfare on a Sunday you can save up to 23 per cent, according to a report by Expedia

For domestic flights, the findings suggest you can save up to 35 per cent if you book at least five months ahead.

‘Travellers that booked 162 to 180 days prior to departure saved 34 per cent on average compared to those who waited until the last minute,’ Expedia said.

‘Meanwhile, for international airfares, the ideal booking period is eight to 23 days prior to departure and the worst booking period is 36 to 63 days prior to departure.’ Expedia notes that you can save eight per cent by booking in the former period rather than the latter period. 

WHEN TO TRAVEL

Almost a fifth (19 per cent) of UK air passengers try to avoid morning flights because getting up early on the day of travel gives them additional stress, according to the Expedia study

Almost a fifth (19 per cent) of UK air passengers try to avoid morning flights because getting up early on the day of travel gives them additional stress, according to the Expedia study

Departing on a Friday can save you up to 26 per cent while Sunday is the priciest day on average to start your trip.

So says the study, which suggests taking off before 3pm to reduce the chance of your flight being cancelled.

Almost a fifth (19 per cent) of UK air passengers try to avoid morning flights because getting up early on the day of travel gives them additional stress, according to the findings.

However, flights that depart after 3pm have a four per cent higher chance, on average, of being cancelled than those that depart earlier in the day, year-to-date flight status data reveals.

MONEY-SAVING TOOLS

Expedia offers ‘a wide selection of customisable holiday packages in one place’, allowing travellers ‘to save hundreds of pounds on average when booking multiple items’

Price tracking: Take the guess work out of deciding when to book with the price-tracking feature on the Expedia app, which notifies travellers when flight prices change and uses exclusive data to pinpoint the best time to book.

Bundling: Expedia offers ‘a wide selection of customisable holiday packages in one place’, allowing travellers ‘to save hundreds of pounds on average when booking multiple items’, from flights to hotels. 

Whether booking items in stages or in one fell swoop, says Expedia, you can also benefit from having your itinerary in one place, making it easier to keep track of your journey.

2024 AIR TRAVEL TRENDS

Among the most popular international destinations for UK flyers are New York City, Dubai, and Bangkok, according to Expedia data

Among the most popular international destinations for UK flyers are New York City, Dubai, and Bangkok, according to Expedia data

The average price of a plane ticket has dropped by up to three per cent compared to last year, according to Expedia data, with the number of scheduled short and long-haul flights almost at 2019 levels.

Among the most popular international destinations for UK flyers are New York City, Dubai, and Bangkok.

While the most frequented European destinations are Amsterdam, Barcelona and Istanbul.

The fastest-growing destination, according to Expedia flight demand data, is Beijing in China.

REVEALED: AIR TRAVEL ‘IS MORE DAUNTING THAN DOING TAXES’ 

In an Expedia survey of 2,000 UK flyers, nearly half of respondents (49 per cent) said they find air travel more daunting than doing their taxes, making small talk and a flooded email inbox.

While almost half of respondents find air travel overall quite stressful, experiencing a flight delay or cancellation is the biggest stress of air travel for 65 per cent of survey respondents.

This is followed by long lines at security (47 per cent) and getting stuck in traffic on the way to the airport (47 per cent).

Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of Britons said they’re afraid of leaving their passport at home when they travel by air, with their credit card or money (49 per cent) and mobile phone (34 per cent) also making the list.

‘No way should people rather do their taxes than go on a trip, so thank goodness a lot of the things causing travel-related stress are getting better,’ said Melanie Fish, head of Expedia Group Brands public relations.

‘Fewer flights are being cancelled and technology is helping with tools in the Expedia app like price tracking that make the whole booking and flying journey smoother.’

Airlines are also making improvements, according to Chuck Thackston, managing director of data science and research at Arc.

He said: ‘Airlines are adding capacity and increasing service to meet the sustained air travel demand we’ve seen throughout 2023.

‘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.’