Sunday is now the best day to buy plane tickets, say airline ticketing experts – this is how early to book for the best price

According to ARC data, Sunday bookings often scored plane tickets that were 20 to 36 per cent cheaper than tickets bought on other days.
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Forget what you’ve heard: Sunday is now the best day of the week to book plane tickets – at least, according a new report by travel site Expedia and air ticket intelligence firm Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC).

The companies released their annual Travel Pricing Outlook report on Thursday (Feb 14), which looks at trends in air ticket purchases based on ARC’s global flight data.

It found that the average flight price for tickets was the lowest on weekends, particularly Sundays – and claimed that Sunday bookings often scored tickets that were 20 to 36 per cent cheaper than tickets bought on other days.

Conversely, tickets were likely to be the most expensive on Thursdays and Fridays, the report said.

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The data also revealed that flights departing on Thursday or Friday were the cheapest globally – costing about 10 per cent less than the price of a ticket on other days. Meanwhile, flights departing on Sunday tended to be the most expensive.

How early to book a flight?

In general, the prices of plane tickets across all cabin classes on the world’s “most popular” routes increased 5 per cent in 2018.

The average prices of plane tickets were most likely to be more expensive when bought less than three weeks before the departure date, but booking tickets right about the three-week mark was a “sweet spot for fare savings”, the report added.

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Other findings researchers derived from the data was that it was often cheaper to fly economy, rather than book a budget flight and top up money to bring on baggage.

In addition, business travellers flying on popular corporate travel routes (like London to New York) could get tickets 25 per cent cheaper by extending their stays to include Saturday night.

ARC’s managing director for data science, Chuck Thackston, said the concept of “bleisure” (business and leisure trips) had been gaining popularity in the industry for some time, and the company was finally able to “quantify” that taking such trips could save travellers a significant amount.

Read also: Cheaper flights from Singapore this year thanks to financial slowdown, study predicts