The travel booking sweet spot

Friday December 12, 2014 | by ZUJI

Are you a holiday goer, globetrotter or a frequent business traveller? The price of flight tickets has been steadily increasing over the years, making it typically the costliest expenditure for most travel bookings. Fortunately, there is a window that can maximise cost savings for your next airfare. We have gone undercover, gathering travel booking insights and have come up with five tips to consider when hitting ‘confirm’ on your next flight abroad.


Crowded Beach 

1.       Avoid peak travel periods

While there is no hard and fast rule as to determine the ideal timing for each airline and destination, you can’t go wrong by avoiding the peak travel periods. Due to the overwhelming demand, air tickets are usually pricier around holidays and festive seasons, such as school vacations, Christmas and New Year. It also helps if you understand some of the inner workings of the airline industry. Generally, seats are released for sale up to 12 months ahead. Fares are typically higher initially as the airline monitors demand. However, to optimise profit, pricing is regularly adjusted depending on how heavily a flight is booked.


2.       How airlines price their tickets

Modern airlines employ sophisticated ticket pricing systems, which analyses booking patterns and seats availability, releasing more low-cost seats if sales are slow or jacking up the price when the demand is high. This process is repeated continuously until all the seats are sold or a few hours before departure, leading to unpredictable price swings even within the same day. Contrary to popular belief, unsold seats closer to departure are actually costlier as well. Firstly, desperate air travellers have no qualms paying a price premium to secure their last-minute bookings. Secondly, these seats are empty because they tend to fall under the more expensive booking classes.


3.       Booking trends in Singapore

Sometimes it’s not about booking in advance or last minute to get the best rates. It boils down to consumer preference and habits. In Singapore, where a large number of travellers make multiple trips abroad annually, short-haul flights (with a travel flight time of 0-5 hours from Singapore) are booked between 1 and 2 weeks beforehand, while the reservation for their long-haul equivalents (flight times that are 5 hours and over)  are made considerably earlier, around 1 to 5 months instead. On the other hand, flights provided by budget airlines tend to be snapped up about 1 month ahead. For full-service carriers, the time frame fluctuates significantly according to the destination too. The current top 5 destinations for Singapore travellers are Hong Kong, Bangkok, Seoul, Shanghai and Taipei with return airfares ranging from as little as S$190 to a whopping S$1,000.


Air Schedule 


4.       Booking recommendations 

As a general rule of thumb, it is advisable to book air tickets 2 to 4 months in advance and even earlier for popular destinations and leading up to big holidays. For those after added savings, it is interesting to note that Tuesday is usually the least popular day among air travellers, and therefore, most affordable for outbound flights.


5.       Special promotions and packages

Thanks to various promotions, you can also enjoy additional discount and rebate. To get a 12% discount on hotel accommodation and 2% flight rebate, simply complete your travel bookings at ZUJI Singapore and charge the full payment utilizing an American Express credit card. Also remember to leverage on occasional airlines’ 2-to-go promotions, which makes purchasing a pair or more tickets more economical. Lastly, you should also consider a package, consisting of flight and hotel accommodation, to take advantage of the added value. Visit for more information.


Summing it up, always book in advance to suss out the cheapest air ticket deals, ideally departing on a Tuesday to stretch your dollar. For additional cost-savings, keep your eyes open for special promotions such as those with specific credit card companies that offer rebates or a percentage off either your flight or hotel stay. With Christmas and New Year right around the corner, how about going on a getaway with your loved ones to celebrate the festivities using these tips? Like today to get updated on ZUJI’s latest promotions. 

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