Finding the best time to purchase a plane ticket is a mystery for most of us. We often hear from friends and acquaintances who have scored amazing airline ticket deals, but how do they do it?
There’s no need to lose your mind over it! The best-kept secrets for cheap airline tickets are about to be exposed. We've gathered some tips from Expedia, who recently published their 2023 Air Travel Tips report to help you save on airfare which can save you a lot if you're planning to travel soon.
Based on information from Expedia's massive database of airline tickets and in partnership with the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), Expedia provides essential tips for Canadian travellers to save time and money.
Here are five relevant tips to help you plan your next trip:
Secret #1: Forget about last-minute discounts on air travel
The days of waiting until a few days before your trip to book to save money are long gone! As a matter of fact, last-minute air travel discounts are becoming increasingly rare. Instead, sign up for price alerts on travel websites such as Expedia to find out when the lowest fares are available.
You can also check price-tracking and prediction tools to determine whether a ticket you see at the moment of your search is more or less expensive than usual.
If the price seems much higher than usual, look for other dates for your trip or find other airports near your desired destination. Flexibility means saving money!
Secret #2: Book on Sunday to save up to 15%
It may surprise you, but the day of the week on which you buy your ticket does have an impact on the cost of your ticket! For example, if you want to buy a flight from Montreal to Paris for December 1st, you will see a different price if you search on a Monday instead of a Saturday.
On average, travellers who book on Sunday instead of Friday save about 15% on domestic flights and 10% on international flights.
Keep your excitement level for making travel arrangements high all weekend, but hold off on making the actual booking until Sunday.
Secret #3: Book a flight within Canada at least two months in advance to save 40%
According to Expedia, the best time to buy domestic flights in Canada is 71 days before departure (about two months before travel). Compared to travellers who booked one month before departure, those who booked during this time period saved almost 40% on average.
You could save a lot of money by following this tip, especially if you travel in a group or to an expensive destination in Canada.
Those who like to prepare in advance should book flights at most 100 days before departure. Domestic airfares are likely to be at their highest four to five months before your departure date. Sometimes preparing too much is like not preparing enough!
Secret #4: Book your international flight at least three months in advance to save 10%
Do you plan on visiting Europe, Asia, or Latin America? Are you looking to step out of your comfort zone? You should buy your airline ticket in advance if you are flying outside of Canada.
Compared to those who waited less than two months to book an international trip, travellers who booked approximately three months in advance saved 10%.
Secret #5: Choose a flight with a departure time before 3 PM to reduce the risk of cancellation by 40%
Having your flight cancelled can be extremely frustrating, especially if you have already left for the airport. Considering the new reality of travel and airports, you want to avoid this situation as much as possible. Expedia reports that the best time to leave for your flight is before 3 p.m. to reduce cancellation risks.
In the same way that the future belongs to the early bird, those who choose flight departure times carefully will fly without cancellations. Flying early in the morning gives travellers the best chance of a smooth journey.
A year-to-date analysis of flight cancellations shows that flights departing after 3 p.m. have a higher likelihood of being cancelled, on average, by 40%.
Finding deals on flights is no longer a secret for you!
By following these tips provided by Expedia, you are now more knowledgeable than most travellers. You are more likely to get cheaper tickets and a flight without cancellation. Be creative, look into alternative routes, plan your trip in advance, and research the best price for your travel dates.