Marketing

OTAs crunching big data to market best cheap flight deals

Posted by Ben Ireland on
OTAs crunching big data to market best cheap flight deals

Online travel agents have been busy crunching billions of lines of data and using the results as marketing material as the travel industry’s peaks booking season gets underway.

Flight search and travel deals platform Cheapflights has analysed ten billion lines of data in a bid to help Brits understand the best times to buy flights and when to travel to save money on air fares.

The analysis claims that savvy travellers can save more than £700 per person by buying and flying at the right time while Cheapflights has also introduced what it calls a ‘Destination Diary’ for consumers to use when planing where and when to go for the best value in 2017.

The Destination Diary tool suggests when holidaymakers should fly to certain places to save on air fares, such as Cancun in January and Malaga in March.

Meanwhile, Kayak looked at million of lines of data and reckons Brits can save up to 80% by booking air fares at “the right time”.

It says one or two months in advance is prime booking time for mid-haul, while two to four months ahead is best for long-haul journeys and booking one or two months before departure is the optimum time for booking hotels.

Flights in Faro, Kayak claim, are up to 80% cheaper when booked one month in advance  compared to the most expensive time to book – which the firm didn’t reveal.

SHUTTERSTOCK big data

Flights to Mallorca can be 75% cheaper when booked two months, the research added, and savings of 66% and 61% respectively for Tenerife and Rome can be made.

Kayak says British long-haul passengers could save 41% on Orlando flights, 40% for Los Angeles and up to 45% for Bali. But flights to New Zealand are cheapest when booked seven months in advance, the data analysis says.

Madrid is the cheapest destination on Kayak from the UK, while Marrakech is the least expensive out of Europe destination.

Suzanne Perry, a travel expert at Kayak, said: “Most of us will take any help we can get when it comes to sorting through all the options out there to find the best deal and at Kayak we are obsessed with using our tech know-how to give the best advice to our users.

“The research shows that generally, those who are happy to leave their bookings until later can secure the best deals. Especially on long haul, most Brits tend to plan their holidays well in advance for peace of mind, so if they still have empty seats left a couple of months beforehand, airlines will often begin reducing prices to make sure they get filled.

“But there are also some real anomalies with some destinations, so signing up to tools like Price Alerts from KAYAK can really help travellers get the best deal, no matter where they are travelling, allowing users to plan and manage trips with confidence.”

Andrew Shelton, managing director of Cheapflights added: “Travellers who can be flexible with their holiday dates should earmark November and early December for a winter escape, as this period is consistently the cheapest time of year to visit many of the most popular holiday spots, including Dubai, Thailand, South Africa, Barbados and New York.”

The Cheapflights analysis also pinpoints the optimum number of days in advance of the departure date that jetsetters should book in order to bag the bargain fare. For example, Cheapflights says holidaymakers with their hearts set on New Zealand in 2017 can save £747 by flying the week of 29 August – 4 September (£475 per person, return), versus 11 – 17 January, when average fares are £1,222 per person, return.

“The best time to book the flights to secure that £475 fare is 25 days prior to departure,” said Shelton.

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