Best Time to Book Flights 2018

How do I know the best time to book flights?

Are you wondering when the best time to book flights for your summer holiday is? Maybe you're thinking of travelling on a popular route – say, from London to Lisbon and want to know when you can score the best deals? This page will share some trade secrets about the best time to book flights.

The Best Time to Book Flights - Our Statistics

It’s often thought that the best time to book a flight is as far in advance as possible, but this is not always the case. We have analysed our customers' return flight bookings departing the UK for a full year to determine the best time to book domestic, long haul and short haul flights. It was also found that January is the cheapest month in which to book short-haul flights, while the optimal time to book long-haul flights appeared to be in September. Those opting for domestic routes should book in October for the lowest prices. In terms of the best weekdays to book, the cheapest rates for short-haul trips tended to appear on Wednesdays. Booking on a Sunday is likely to get you the cheapest rates for domestic flights, while travellers should consider purchasing long-haul tickets on Tuesdays.

Best time to book popular routes

This data is based on the average of all flights, so let's look at some of the different rates for specific routes. It’s a great idea to consider your itinerary and the best time to book flights to that destination when trying to find the cheapest deals. For example, a flight from Birmingham to Alicante can cost £68 return if you book it in December, but £123 if you book in June. Bristol to Lisbon can cost up to £243 return if you book in April, but only £93 if the flights are purchased in December. And London to Rome costs on average a mere £77 return if you book it in December, but prices can soar up to £122 if the flight is booked in May.

What are the best months to book flights?

Weeks in Advance to Book Flights

Despite long-held beliefs that booking far in advance or waiting for last-minute bargains will secure you the cheapest flights, the research indicated that the lowest prices on are available six to seven weeks before you jet off. The research highlights that even if prices begin to soar months before the flight, you can still bag cheaper tickets by simply keeping an eye on the costs and waiting for them to drop again. However, if you’re looking at short-haul routes, rather than domestic or long-haul, week seven may be your best chance of securing the lowest-priced flights. Travellers who have left it until the last minute to book shouldn’t despair however. You should still be able to make significant savings if you book two weeks before departure, instead of waiting until the last seven days.

When is the best time to book flights?

Tips for booking a cheap flight

  1. Be flexible with where you fly from – if your departure city has more than one airport, check them all to determine the cheapest fare. You could also check other cities near to your own to see if it would be better value to fly from there.
  2. Avoid school holidays – if you are not travelling with kids and can avoid the peak periods, try to avoid school holidays for much cheaper prices.
  3. Look at the entire month – seeing a calendar with all the flight prices for an entire month helps you to envisage the cheapest date and select the best one for you
  4. Think about baggage – if you are booking with a budget airline, consider how much baggage you need as this will often come at an extra cost. If you can, try to fly with just hand luggage for the cheapest rates.

This study is based on return flights departing from the UK to all destinations from November 2016 to October 2017.

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