Looking for cheap flight deals? Book 3 weeks in advance, on a Sunday: Report

Here's a money-saving tip for your next trip: book flights three weeks in advance, on a particularly Sunday, and begin your travel on a Thursday or Friday. 

Extending a mid-week trip to include a Saturday night stay can also help you save up to 25 percent on airfares, according to the 2019 Travel Pricing Outlook. 

Compiled by Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) in collaboration with Expedia Group, the report provides a comprehensive study of worldwide air travel trends, by analysing data from ARC's global database of over 2 billion flight segments. 

The study’s key finding indicates that purchase timing and trip longevity can influence the cost of an air ticket or hotel room. Common myths about ticket cost versus route structure were also found to not be true in all cases. Travelers should therefore consider other factors like travel stress and schedules before booking.

For example, direct flights are not always more expensive. Lots of factors come into play when airlines set fares, so the time to connect and other convenience factors need to be considered.

Photo: Connected to India
Photo: Connected to India

It also pays to choose carefully when considering purchasing a basic economy airline ticket. While travelers may initially save money by booking basic economy, adding ancillaries such as advanced seat selection or checked bags can often result in a ticket cost that exceeds an economy fare.

Moreover, for around three-quarters of trips, quantifiable savings can be realised by travelers who extend their weekday trip to include a Saturday night stay. “The savings opportunities by extending mid-week travel over a weekend is a new and valuable finding for travelers," said Chuck Thackston, managing director of data science at ARC.

"The industry has talked about ‘bleisure’ travel for a while, and we have been able to quantify the real savings for travelers around this concept. It's something that people who love to travel should start to incorporate into their plans.”

The report also analyzed influences on airfare pricing to help inform the decisions that keep travelers awake at night. Greg Schulze, Expedia Group’s senior vice president, commercial strategy and services, explained that many people find it incredibly difficult and time-consuming to make travel decisions. “Research tells us that travelers often make up to 50 searches before deciding on a flight. Our analysis of more than 50 billion flight searches can help all travelers in the hunt for the right flight at the right price."