My partner and I are planning a trip to Japan next spring and we’re wondering when to buy flights to get the best deal?
Several of the airlines have sales in between now and then, but we don’t know if it’s worth the gamble to wait and buy later in the year, or if it’s actually cheaper to buy a year ahead.How do we find this out?
— Sarah, by email
Flight costs can swing dramatically throughout the year and it’s not always best to buy early
John Ritchie, of flight comparison site Skyscanner, replies: One of the most frequently asked questions we hear is ‘When’s the best time to book flights?’.
While we can’t predict all the unknowns that may impact flight prices in 2019, we have a wealth of data that enables us to identify clear patterns that could be replicated in future years.
When looking at Japan, it very much depends whereabouts in Japan you want to fly and where in the UK you are flying out from.
Based on our interactive Best Time to Book tool, which travellers can access online, if you’re travelling from London to Osaka, then the best time to book is 17 weeks in advance of travel.
If you want to soak up the spring blossom in Japan, or head anywhere else at a particular time of year, when is the cheapest time to book?
The cheapest month to travel to Osaka from London is February, but for travellers looking to fly out in May or June they could find savings of 12 per cent off of the average flight price.
While we have identified the average flight prices and best time to book, there will never be one guaranteed date on which flight prices will be at their cheapest.
Once you’ve found your preferred dates and route, you can set up a price alert to keep up with fares going up or down.
It’s also worth considering travelling out on alternative dates, or changing your departure or arrivals airport as both could save you money.
This can be easily done in the Skyscanner app, which allows you to view the average price per month or per day.
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