Pilot shares exact time and day to book cheap flights with huge savings possible

Taking off to far-flung destinations can be a pricey affair. But with some insider knowledge from a seasoned travel expert more affordable airfares could be within your reach.

For the budget-conscious globetrotters who prefer their flights to cost less than an airport lunch picking the right day to fly can significantly affect the price tag on your ticket. By being strategic about when you take to the skies and you could find yourself basking in a foreign locale for less in 2024.

Top travel tour operator Ski Vertigo had a chat with a pilot who let slip that Sunday evening is one of the prime times to secure flights for substantial savings. And snagging a bargain flight is a fantastic way to kickstart the week.

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The pilot further highlighted five compelling reasons why booking on a Sunday evening could result in significant savings for UK travellers:

1. Fewer business travellers

Business travellers usually hit the skies on weekdays, particularly on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, to align with their hectic schedules. By Sunday evening most have already finalised their plans for the upcoming week leading to a drop in demand and consequently prices, reports the Mirror. This trend is observed worldwide so if you're on the hunt for a stellar deal on flights, Sunday evenings are your golden opportunity.

2. Weekend price adjustments

Airlines often revise their fares over the weekend, reacting to the previous week's booking trends. By Sunday evening they're keen to adjust prices to fill any remaining seats for the forthcoming week. This results in lower fares as airlines strive to ensure maximum flight occupancy. For UK travellers this can translate into fantastic deals when these adjustments are made.

3. Last-minute deals

To avoid vacant seats airlines tend to offer last-minute deals over the weekend. By Sunday evening they might release these discounted fares to ensure that as many seats as possible are filled before the start of the new week. This can be particularly beneficial for travellers who book flights at this time as airlines try to boost sales with attractive pricing.

4. Optimal booking window

Booking flights several weeks in advance is known to yield better prices and this principle holds true worldwide. For UK travellers booking flights on a Sunday evening within the optimal booking window of 30-45 days before departure can lead to significant savings. This period allows travellers to take advantage of the best available fares before prices start to rise as the departure date approaches.

5. Less competition from fellow travellers

Travellers planning their next holiday often book flights early in the weekend or during work hours. By Sunday evening this rush usually eases, leading to less competition for available flights. This reduced competition can result in lower fares as airlines don't face the same level of booking activity and are more inclined to offer better deals to attract the remaining pool of travellers.

A pilot who spoke to Ski Vertigo, said: "Booking flights on Sunday evenings is not just about catching lower prices – it's also a strategic move to navigate airline pricing algorithms. Airlines typically reset their booking systems on Sundays, often leading to fare adjustments based on the week's demand and occupancy trends.

"This reset can result in fare drops as airlines aim to balance seat availability with competitive pricing. For travellers this means a window of opportunity where they might find flights that are not only affordable but also offer a wider range of seat options.

"Beyond the immediate savings Sunday evening bookings allow travellers to avoid the midweek price hikes often caused by last-minute business travel bookings and midweek vacation planners. This time slot is less congested, making it easier to spot and secure deals without the rush and stress of peak booking times.

"Travellers can also take advantage of flexible ticket policies that are sometimes more generous at the start of the week, providing peace of mind with options for changes or cancellations if plans shift unexpectedly. This blend of strategy, timing, and flexibility makes Sunday evening an optimal choice for smart travellers."