Contributed

REVEALED: The best times to book flights

LAST minute bookings are meant to save us a fortune when it comes to air travel.

The theory goes that airlines are keen to fill planes and so are always prepared to discount seats that haven't been booked already.

But according to new data from the Expedia group and the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), it's something of an urban myth.

 The ARC Air Travel Outlook report analyses billions of data points for domestic and international air travel globally to identify practical tips Australian travellers can use to find airfare savings in 2018. 

The report revealed, when it comes to the best time for Aussies to book airfares, significant savings can be found by both booking and starting a journey on certain days of the week. 

Despite popular belief in the benefits of last-minute bookings, in most parts of the world, economy fares tend to increase as departure date gets closer.

For Australians flying within Australia, analysis of ARC's data reveals the earlier travellers book, the cheaper the price is likely to be.

For international travel, the trend is more volatile based on destination and seasonality though booking early is recommended: according to the data, bookings made more than 30 days in advance result in cheaper fares.

Demi Kavaratzis, Director of Tours and Transport, Expedia Australia, says shifting your departure date by one day may be an easy way to keep more money in your pocket."

Air booking basics for Aussies:

International travel:

- Book Saturday, avoid Friday: Broadly, the best day of the week for Australia-based travellers to book international economy airfares is Saturday.

- Fly Thursday, not Saturday: On the whole, the best day of the week to start an international journey is a Thursday.

- Australian travellers paid the highest international economy airfares in December (based on date of booking)

- Australian travellers paid the lowest international economy airfares in January (based on date of booking)

Domestic travel:

- Book Sunday, avoid Friday: Broadly, the best day of the week for Australians to book a domestic economy airfare is a Sunday.

- Fly Saturday, avoid Monday: On the whole, the best day of the week to start a domestic journey is a Saturday.

- Australian travellers paid the highest domestic economy airfares in August (based on date of booking)

- Australian travellers paid the lowest domestic economy airfares in January (based on date of booking)

"I know when I book an airfare, I challenge myself to find the best fare and from our research we know people can make up to 50 online searches before booking a flight - that's a lot!," Demi said.

"We want to use our enormous amounts of data to help Aussies have a better booking experience, find the best deal for them and book with confidence."

News Corp Australia


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