Thursday travel corridor updates from transport secretary Grant Shapps are triggering the highest weekday spike in holiday searches.
The traffic peak increases by 87% compared to the same 9-10pm slot for the rest of the working week, according to the relaunched online Thomas Cook.
Boris Johnson’s national address on Monday evening on tiered Covid restrictions across parts of the UK also triggered a surge in searches for last-minute breaks.
The majority are looking to travel in the next couple of weeks – with Christmas also proving popular as many consider marking the festive break abroad if they are able to.
Thomas Cook head of commercial product Emma King said: “The new lockdown restrictions and tiering system introduced this week has been difficult for many. After a tumultuous year, it’s no wonder people are dreaming of sandy beaches and blue skies.
“Brits are now browsing online holidays right throughout the day as people’s routines shift and many find themselves working from home.
“People are clearly keeping an eye on the latest travel announcements, with over 21% of all weekly visitors searching for holidays on Thursdays.
“The 60-minute slot between 9-10pm is the single busiest period of the working week and this behavioural trend is now so consistent it’s becoming known as ‘Shapps O’Clock’.
“Speaking to customers, it’s clear people want a sunny break and are keen to splash out more with high-end hotels getting snapped up and some great deals still available even during the half term.”