When to Book Flights

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Best day of week to book flights


By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times travel writer

What is the best day of the week to book flights with EasyJet, Ryanair and other airlines? As you might expect, the lowest fares can be found on weekdays when fewer people are travelling. No-frills airlines are particularly popular with leisure travellers, who favour weekends. Business travellers tend to travel in the week.

According to research by Which? magazine, Tuesday is the best day for outbound flights from the UK. Its researchers studied 1,174 flights in September to three destinations in Europe – Alicante, Barcelona and Dublin.

The most expensive days of the week for outbound flights are Friday and Saturday on British Airways, Friday on EasyJet and Sunday on Ryanair.

For return flights, Sunday works out as the most expensive day to fly. The lowest fares could be found on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Best day of week to book flights

A spokesman from Trailfinders also confirmed that Tuesday is the best day for lowest fares on long-haul flights. Some airlines flying to the US charge a supplement of around £20 each way if you travel between Friday and Sunday.

So if you want to go away for a week, fly Tuesday to Tuesday, and if you want a two-night break in Europe – and you aren’t tied to weekends – try Tuesday to Thursday. If you must travel on weekends, book as early as possible.

What kind of price differences can you expect? Which? found the differences between the lowest and highest fares were 35 – 45%, so it’s well worth it.

Note: it can sometimes work out cheaper if you stay away for a Saturday night. A good travel agent or flights specialist such as Trailfinders will be able to advise you on this.

Is it cheaper to fly at any particular time of day? Absolutely, yes. The researchers found that EasyJet’s most pricey outbound flights were in the morning between 5.45am and 11.50am. The most expensive return flights were between 2pm and 3.55pm.

On British Airways you can save by flying before breakfast, and returning late in the evening. It was found that 86% of its lowest outbound fares were before 7.30am and 86% of its cheapest return flights were in the evening. The difference was as much as 52%.

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