ARC and Expedia Group release 2019 Travel Outlook Study

Lauren Eldershaw
By Lauren Eldershaw February 14, 2019 12:02

ARC and Expedia Group release 2019 Travel Outlook Study

Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), in collaboration with Expedia Group, has released its fifth annual comprehensive study of worldwide air travel trends: 2019 Travel Pricing Outlook. Analysing data from ARC’s global database of over 2 billion flight segments, ARC and Expedia Group analysed air ticket purchase trends for the world’s most popular domestic and international routes. This year’s report also includes money-saving strategies for booking hotels.

The study’s key finding indicates that purchase timing and trip longevity can influence the cost of an air ticket or hotel room. The research also suggests that common beliefs about ticket cost vs. route structure may not be true in all cases and that travellers should consider other factors like travel stress and schedules before booking. Some significant study findings suggest that booking flights three weeks in advance, on the weekend — particularly Sunday — and beginning travel on a Thursday or Friday have the lowest average ticket prices; direct flights are not always more expensive; extending a mid-week trip to include a Saturday night stay can save up to 25 percent on airfares; and choose carefully when considering purchasing a basic economy airline ticket for additional costs that may bump up the price considerably, often resulting in a ticket cost that exceeds an economy fare.

Chuck Thackston, managing director of data science at ARC says that for around three-quarters of trips, quantifiable savings can be realised by travellers who extend their weekday trip to include a Saturday night stay.

“The savings opportunities by extending mid-week travel over a weekend is a new and valuable finding for travellers. The industry has talked about ‘bleisure’ travel for a while, and we have been able to quantify the real savings for travellers around this concept. It’s something that people who love to travel should start to incorporate into their plans,” said Thackston.
The report also analysed influences on airfare pricing to help inform the decisions that keep travellers awake at night. Greg Schulze, Expedia Group’s senior vice president, commercial strategy and services explained that many people find it incredibly difficult and time-consuming to make travel decisions: “Research tells us that travellers often make up to 50 searches before deciding on a flight. Our analysis of more than 50 billion flight searches can help all travellers in the hunt for the right flight at the right price,” Schulze said.

Lauren Eldershaw
By Lauren Eldershaw February 14, 2019 12:02