Let’s face it, booking holidays can be stressful enough, but at peak times it can be near impossible to get the flights and deals you want. Holidays are meant to be a time to relax and unwind so check out Amadeus’s top tips for a stress-free booking experience.
Amadeus surveyed more than 150 UK travel agents to find out their top tips for travellers looking for the best deals. Unsurprisingly, the best advice that 99% of UK travel agents could give was for travellers to book their flights early in order to get the best deals. During peak times, popular flights sell out early and generally speaking the longer you wait, the more expensive your trip. Subsequently over two-thirds (65.8 per cent) of agents recommended booking flights as soon as they become available - which for many mainline carriers is almost 12 months in advance of travel.
Other tips that agents advised travellers to pursue included:
* Be flexible with travel dates and times
* Flying on less popular days or times, such as mid-week, can often impact significantly on the price of an airfare
* Make use of alert notifications from travel agents for fare sales and ‘best fare’ deals
* Many travel agents now offer ‘fare alerts’ for customers who register with them so that these clients can be notified of special offers as soon as they become available
* Explore fares on all available airlines to your destination
* Whilst local flag carriers tend to have better brand awareness, travellers should explore which other airlines also fly to the destination they are travelling to
* Check whether travelling with airlines that are part of an alliance is more cost effective on long-haul routes
* Many alliances are now offering special fares if travellers chose to continue their travel with airlines within the same alliance
* Book indirect flights or fly via less busy connection cities
* If time is not of the essence, travellers could consider flying indirect - perhaps even having a stop-over in a city en-route to their final destination. Many travel agents are now able to offer travellers great ‘stop-over’ deals for indirect flights that include accommodation and transfers and that sometimes work out cheaper than flying direct to the final destination
* Make use of airline frequent flier programmes which offer use of airport lounges, and in some cases, hotel room and car rental upgrades for free.
With all these tips in mind, nothing compares to speaking to your trusty travel agent for their expert advice. And not to forget the best tip of all: chill-out, kick back and enjoy the ride.
Commenting on the results Elaine Seeto, Director of Marketing, Amadeus UK & Ireland said: “With summer and Christmas holidays being such a popular time for people to get away, many agents are finding the best deals get snapped up almost as soon as they become available. Although it’s hard to think so far in advance, the survey clearly shows it’s the early birds that catch the best bargains. If you simply cannot bear the thought of planning so far in advance, or are simply not that organised, it’s always worth checking in with your local travel agent for expert tips and the latest advice.”