Tips on When to Book the Cheapest Flights

Research by Opodo has identified the best days and months to book cheap flights. Analysis of the average price paid during 2016 for return flights from the UK, booked on the Opodo website, uncovered the optimum times to find the lowest prices for flights.

Evidently, flights are cheapest if booked on a Saturday or Sunday. While I was aware that it was cheaper to fly on certain days of the week, which is why I had booked so many flights for travel on Tuesdays, I didn’t realise that day on which I booked the flight would have any bearing on the price of the flight.

There are some price variations between different categories of flight, depending on whether you book on a Saturday or Sunday. As an example, you can save 2.63% by booking a long haul flight on a Saturday. Whereas, booking a long haul flight on a Sunday will only net a saving of 0.84%.

The more expensive the flight, the more money you can save by finding the cheapest flight. Therefore, I’d put more effort into searching for the cheapest flights to Australia from the UK versus a domestic flight.

I’m not sure why it’s cheaper to book flights at the weekend. Maybe there are no searches being made for business trips, so lower prices are required to attract leisure travellers?

The month in which you book a flight also has an impact on the cost of the flight, with September and October being the cheapest months in which to book. Again, there are variations depending on the length of the flight. The largest saving of 13.89% is for domestic flights booked during October. You could save an average of 13.67% by booking a long haul flight in September. It’s a lower saving of 7.81% if you book a short haul flight in September.

As ever, being flexible with your dates and not traveling in peak season, e.g. school holidays, leads to much lower prices for flights.

I reckon that choosing a popular destination where there is plenty of competition between several airlines flying the same route is likely to save you money, compared to a less popular destination which only has one flight a week.

For domestic travel, the three most popular destinations are London, Edinburgh and Birmingham. In Europe, it’s Barcelona, Paris and Amsterdam. If you are venturing further afield, the three top choices are New York, Dubai and Hong Kong.

Edinburgh Castle

It’s also worth looking out for promotions. Some airlines offer a discount on flight prices, e.g. flash sales and voucher codes.