Millennium Post

Book flights 24 weeks prior to trip to maximise savings: Study

While most travellers try to strike the best deal by booking flight tickets months before their trip, a new survey has revealed that making the bookings precisely 24 weeks prior to departure is the ideal time.

Conducted by online travel portal Skyscanner, the study crunched two years' worth of data from over 50 million monthly users to cull out the Best Time to Book (BTTB) travel to the the top destinations across the world for Indians.

"A meaty 31 per cent of respondents assume booking more than 12 weeks in advance is the best time to book flights. 11 per cent feel that booking last minute is the key to getting a good deal. But, Skyscanner's data analysis shows booking 24 weeks prior to departure is the ideal time to book tickets," the study noted.

According to the survey, flight bookings to destinations like Bali and Kuala Lumpur, which are quite popular among Indian travellers, are cheapest if made 25 weeks prior to departure.

However, the online portal noted that both destinations receive the most bookings two weeks prior to departure where flight prices witness a surge of 16 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively, indicating the lack of knowledge of Indian travellers regarding bookings.

"72 per cent of Indian travellers do not know the best time to book travel for their holidays," it said.

For destinations in Europe like Amsterdam, travellers can save up to 17 per cent by booking 24 weeks in advance.
Budapest will suit non-efficient planners owing to the flexible weeks on offer, during which they can avail optimum flight fares.
"One can book 12, 20 or 23 weeks prior to departure and still save 13 per cent on the flight tickets," the study said.

To explore Madrid without breaking the bank, Skyscanner recommended the best time to book is 15 weeks in advance.

"Knowing the best time to book flights is key to getting a good deal, so it is surprising that nearly three-quarters of Indian travellers do not know when the best time to book travel is and 69 per cent are way off in their estimations, guessing the best deals on flights can be found less than 12 weeks before departure.

"Furthermore, the majority of travellers are overspending by leaving booking until the last minute! After reviewing flight prices from the last two years, travellers can clearly see the savings they can make by booking at the right time and what to expect if they leave booking to the last minute," Reshmi Roy, Growth Manager, Skyscanner India said.
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