The best time of year to book the cheapest air fares has been revealed in a detailed study by Skyscanner.
This in-depth analysis, based on flight data from the past three years, identifies a clear pattern across the country when average flight prices are at their lowest.
The cheapest flights from the UK typically available just five weeks in advance of travel, according to the report which is based on actual customer behaviour and analyses the prices paid by customers.
For example, Skyscanner says the optimum time to book a flight to Spain is five weeks in advance of departure.
Travelling in January – the cheapest month with an average flight price of £91.73 – is 37% cheaper than flying in December, the most expensive month of the year.
February is the cheapest month to travel to the US with an average flight price of £497, 36% cheaper than travelling in July, the most expensive month to travel.
However, the optimum time to book a flight to the US is on average 21 weeks in advance.
Travellers looking to book flight to Turkey should be able to find the cheapest prices 13 weeks in advance, while the best prices for flights to Greece are more likely to be found just three weeks ahead, and represent a saving of 16% on flights booked with a 16-week lead time.
The research also reveals average August flight prices across the top ten summer destinations to give consumers a clearer idea of what prices they can expect to pay and whether a price they see represents a good deal.
The Skyscanner study follows research that found that 80% of travellers admitted they did not know, or were not sure, when the optimum time for booking flights was, while a further 79% would not know on first glance if a flight price offered good value.
The company’s Head of business to business Filip Filipov said: “This is our most comprehensive piece of flight price analysis to date, and we believe is the most robust research ever conducted.
“Our research, which analysed nearly 200 million searches shows the nuances between airline types and destinations and proves there is no golden rule or set date when all flights are at their cheapest.
“We believe that by sharing our in-depth knowledge and providing customers with the tools to do their own research, they feel confident in making an informed decision when it comes to booking flights.”
Travellers can set up an alert which monitors the price of a flight and each time the price of the flight changes, it will automatically send an email.