Flights: ‘Avoid’ common misconception to ‘get the cheapest price’

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Getting a good deal on a flight can depend on a number of factors, but how far in advance you book travel may be the key to unlocking a deal. However, while many tour sites and package holiday operators boast alluring “last-minute deals”, a travel blogger has warned this is not necessarily the case for airlines.

Jessie Moore, founder and director of luxury travel and adventure website Pocket wanderings (@PocketWanderings), is an expert in luxury travel, solo travel, ski and adventure holidays and staycations.

She explained that hopeful holidaymakers with a destination and date of travel in mind should “avoid booking at the last minute”.

Jessie told “The best time to book a flight depends on a number of factors, including the destination, the airline and long haul vs short haul.

“For that reason, there is no set best day of the week or month of the year to book – despite the rumours!

“However, there are some things to bear in mind to ensure you get the cheapest price available.

“Avoid booking at the last minute wherever possible. Unlike other industries where last-minute bookings can get you a great deal, airlines do not operate this way.

“This is generally because airlines rely on those who need to travel last minute, as well as business travellers who aren’t as fazed by the price, to fill the gaps.”

Jack Sheldon, a self-proclaimed “cheap flight hacker” who says he can “help you find cheap fares and learn some tricks”, claims to have found the “sweet spot” for booking flights at the best price.

He explained: “Last-minute deals aren’t going to be very common as airlines try their best to take advantage of business travellers and hike up their last-minute rates.

“Six to 12 weeks in advance is the sweet spot, but it varies greatly.

“For peak and holiday seasons, I recommend looking just as the flights start showing up, typically 11 to 12 months in advance.”

However, there is a caveat to this advice, as some budget airlines offer “flash sales” at certain times of the year to try and drive up sales.

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He said: “For Ryanair, I would wait until they have a flash sale to book.

“They do them often so you may just want to sign up for their newsletter to see when they are.”

If you prefer to fly with another airline, there are still ways to snag a deal closer to your date of departure.

Jessie explained: “That’s not to say it’s not possible to get a last-minute deal – they do exist if the demand really isn’t there and if you can be flexible with your dates. But it’s a bit of a roulette.

“Booking at least three weeks in advance is going to get you cheaper prices, but aim for a few months in advance if you can.”

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