Published on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Search engine claims to reveal best time to book flights

A travel search engine claims to have analysed over one billion flight searches to discover the best times to book flights and when to travel to make the biggest savings. claims it has drilled the timing right down to the best hour to book flights to the top destinations for 2016.

For example, it says that for spring flights, the greatest savings are offered when booking at 11am, when travel is up to 66% cheaper. However, for summer flights, it recommends booking at 4am to save up to 42%.

Kayak based its findings, revealed here, on searches on its own website for travel throughout 2016.

"The data shows the best days of the week, as well as the best hour of the day to book per season, demonstrating that with skilful travel planning, British travellers can save considerable amounts of money, and keep some extra cash up their sleeve for trips to their favourite places," it said.

Kayak claimed those looking for a spring break to Europe should book now as prices are cheapest four to six months in advance, but for summer travel, the best prices are seven to eight months prior to departure.

It claimed travel to Europe in the autumn can be booked at discounts of up to 74% nine to 11 months in advance.

Winter is the only season where the best prices can be found close to departure for European travel, it claimed. Flights to Lanzarote are up to 76% cheaper when booked two months in advance, it said.

Tuesday and Wednesday are most often the best days to go on holiday for the lowest fares, it said. In spring, this applies to Reykjavik, Malaga, Alicante and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

For long-haul trips, travel is best booked four to 11 months in advance. For example, flights to Los Angeles can be snapped up for £422 four months in advance, compared to £1.043 when booked at the most expensive time.

Long-haul summer trips should be booked seven to eight months ahead of travel for optimum savings, with the exception of Dubai which should be booked six months out for the biggest savings of 37%.

In the winter, booking tickets four to five months ahead of departure for destinations such as Auckland, Mumbai or Hong Kong can result in savings of up to 68%, it said.

Travelling out and back on a different weekday usually results in the best savings on long-haul flights, except during the autumn when travelling out and back on the same weekday results in savings to seven out of 10 destinations, it said.

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  • It's local time

    As stated in the article, the research was carried out by Kayak's UK website, based on searches by customers to that website, so evidently the times are BST or GMT depending on the time of year the person is actually making the booking.

    By Linsey McNeill, Wednesday, January 6, 2016

  • Time Zones not made clear

    I suspect that as the article seems targeted at British travellers you have to assume GMT or was that BST?? Don't you just love ambiguities? I am sure the writer knew exactly what he/she meant. Just displayed poor communication skills

    By Paul Davis, Wednesday, January 6, 2016

  • Is that USA time/Aussie time or realtime?

    Love the media spin. You just need to wonder if you missed out if you live in Perth... the timezone thing is tough out west. www.Future.Travel is a realtime booking site so time of day does not affect it for pricing. The best time to buy a ticket is when you are thinking about it... because an hour later the seats are probably gone.

    By Industry Travel Asia, Wednesday, January 6, 2016

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