Book early and save on travel

  • Nation
  • Monday, 18 Feb 2019

PETALING JAYA: Book your flight tickets three weeks ahead and save more than 10% on economy seats when you start your journey on a Thursday.

These were suggested in the “2019 Travel Pricing Outlook”, a study that reviewed global travel pricing trends.

The report by the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) in collaboration with Expedia Inc detailed how travellers can gain real value for money by being strategic about not only when they book a flight, but when they start their journey.

It also claimed that travellers could pay less for seats in the “pointy end” of a plane.

Five tips for Malaysian travellers in 2019 include booking flights at least three weeks ahead of travel, book plane tickets on a Sunday for savings up to 20%, and start your trip on a Thursday to save more than 10% on economy seats.

For holidaymakers eyeing premium or business seats, they are recommended to start their journey on a Friday to save up to 5%.

The study also suggested adding a Saturday night to mid-week trips starting from Wednesday, to save over 10% on airfares, for popular business destinations.

In the study, data specialists from both ARC and Expedia Group analysed ARC’s global flight data and Expedia Group’s lodging trends.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang agreed that the key was to book early and that airfares were generally lower on Sundays due to lower demand.

Tan’s tip on saving money was to make the trip during the low season at the respective destination.

“Service providers like airlines practise dynamic pricing and revenue management to maximise profits and revenue during high demand,” he said when contacted.

Dynamic pricing is the practice of varying the price for a product or service to reflect changing market conditions, in particular the charging of a higher price at a time of greater demand.

Revenue management was selling “the right product to the right customer at the right time to the right price”, said Tan.

However, he said the tips provided appeared not to take cognisance on practicability and airlines pricing strategies, adding however that Expedia was entitled to its views.

Pearl Holiday Sdn Bhd managing director Jimmy Thoo recommended that travellers engage with reliable travel agents as online platforms tend to have hidden costs.

“More and more people book online now. Travel sites are easy to access but their prices have hidden costs such as taxes or breakfast not being included in the package.

“Travelling is a way to relax and enjoy, not looking for the cheapest in everything.

“If you spend very low rates and get low quality lodging such as room with no window or no breakfast, it will ruin your holiday,” he said.

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