ARLINGTON, Va. – Feb. 13, 2019– Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), in collaboration with Expedia Group today released its fifth annual comprehensive study of worldwide air travel trends:2019 Travel Pricing Outlook. Analyzing data from ARC's global database of over 2 billion flight segments, ARC and Expedia Group analyzed air ticket purchase trends for the world’s most popular domestic and international routes. This year’s report also includes money-saving strategies for booking hotels.
The study’s key finding indicates that purchase timing and trip longevity can influence the cost of an air ticket or hotel room. The research also suggests that common beliefs about ticket cost vs. route structure may not be true in all cases and that travelers should consider other factors like travel stress and schedules before booking. Some significant study findings suggest that:
- Booking flights three weeks in advance, on the weekend — particularly Sunday — and beginning travel on a Thursday or Friday have the lowest average ticket prices.
- 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.
- Extending a mid-week trip to include a Saturday night stay can save up to 25 percent on airfares, and sometimes more for popular business destinations.
- It 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.
- Booking hotel rooms on Friday provides the best chance for the lowest average daily rate.
The complete study is available free online here.