Upcoming travel plans? Here’s how to get the best deal on your next flight

With Covid restriction lifted, there has been an increase in travel around the world. But with travel comes a heavy price to pay ie the high flight tickets prices. Google flights on 31 August has published a new data based on five years worth of data from August 2017 to August 2022, which shows the best time to book a flight and other times airfare deals are at their best.

James Byers, Google Flights’ group product manager, in a blog post said that between April to August this year, searches for “cheapest airline tickets” surged more than 240 percent in the US. During this same period, the top-searched questions related to air travel also included “when is the best time to book a flight?” and “how to find cheap flights ?,” he said.

Also Read: Planning for a trip? Fly on these days for cheapest flights rates

1. When to fly ?: As per Google flights, it’s cheaper to fly in the middle of the week than on the weekend. The flights that depart on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday are on an average 12 percent cheaper than the flight that depart on weekends. As per the Byers, “If you exclude international destinations, the potential savings jump even higher to 20 percent.”

2. Nonstop flight vs layover flight: As per the blog post, layover flight is also one of the best bets to save money. A non-stop flights fares on an average about 20 percent higher than the connecting flights, it shows.

3. Which Day to book cheap flight tickets? As per the Google flights, booking a flight on Tuesday was often considered as the best time to book tickets. However, in the past five years analysis, US airfares purchased on Tuesdays, Wednesday or Thursdays have been only 1.9 percent cheaper on an average than airfares purchased during the weekend, it said.

4. How early to book tickets? For travelers looking for a cheap flight, the time and how early you book the the flight matters. “For US domestic flights, prices have usually been their lowest 21-60 days out, with average prices bottoming out 44 days before departure. However, this depends on season to season. For example, spring break tickets were cheapest 38 days before departure, for Thanksgiving it hit their lowest point 52 days out. For a summer vacation in July or August, the cheapest airfare popped up just 21 days before the travel date.

Apart from this, Google Flights has also suggested to turn on price tracking for the destination one wishes to travel. “Toggle on tracking for your destination and dates of travel, and we’ll email you if prices change substantially. Or, if you’re more flexible on when to travel, you can turn on tracking for ‘Any dates’ to get notified of price drops for flights departing in the next 3 to 6 months. “

“Use the calendar view, date grid and price graph to see how fares change. The calendar view and date grid let you see how much you can save if you’re flexible on your departure and return dates. The price graph shows you what prices look like for an ‘X day’ long trip, depending on the departure date, “it said.

Speaking about India, from 31 August, the government lifted cap on domestic airfare prices after more than two years. The change is anticipated to allow airlines more freedom to set their own fares.

Also Read: Jet fuel price slashed in Delhi after govt hikes windfall profit tax

“After review of the current status of scheduled domestic operations viz-a-viz passenger demand for air travel … it has been decided to remove the fare bands notified from time to time regarding the airfares with effect from August 31, 2022,” the Civil Aviation Ministry stated in an order. Since there are no pricing caps, the airlines are free to set their own prices. However, to attract more passengers, the airlines can lower the cost of flight tickets. Previously, airlines could not offer discounts because of the lower and upper price caps on domestic airfare imposed by the government.

Also Read: Explained: Will domestic flight tickets get more expensive from today?

About the removal of airfare caps, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) President Jyoti Mayal said that those in the travel trade expect the airfares to go down in the coming months, especially because the festive season is coming, which means more people traveling.

“India is a huge market and with the continuous development of aviation infrastructure, existing airlines expanding their fleets, and newer / older ones coming into the business, we hope to see a rise in the competition eventually leading to getting the end user benefitted,” she told news agency PTI.

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