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Third of Brits book flights as early as possible

The days of leaving a flight until last minute in order to grab a bargain are well behind us. According to new research, more than a third of British holidaymakers’ book flights as early as possible.

Flight comparison site Skyscanner found that there are five distinct groups of travellers: safe bet, competitive, efficient, gambler and spontaneous. Their research found that the majority of Brits are keen to book straight away in case the prices go up or flights sell out. The ‘safe bet bookers’, describing those early birds, accounted for 38% of the respondents.

However, they were closely followed by 29% ‘competitive bookers’ – those happy to book if the price is right. This group are so adamant on getting the best possible price that they continue to check the price of flights even once they have booked.

‘Efficient bookers’ – travellers that book as soon as they have decided where they want to go made up just 12%. Identified as being time-poor, but cash-rich, these holidaymakers don’t have time to waste comparing prices aren’t concerned about getting a good deal. Where waiting until last minute used to almost guarantee check flights, now just 11% are willing to hold off booking. Desperate to get the best possible price, they will risk leaving it in the hope of finding a cheap seat.

The smallest group of bookers are categorised as ‘spontaneous’. Only 10% will book a flight if they see one that looks good value. Mary Porter who was speaking on behalf of Skyscanner said: “This study shows that we all look at booking our flights in very different ways with some competitive types almost seeing it as a game or a challenge while others have a far more laid back approach.”

She continued to say: “Of course, those who have to travel at a particular time are more likely to want to book in advance and we understand that – however our advice would be to track fares by signing up for price alerts, allowing them to see when lowest fares become available.” Previous research by ABTA found that a quarter of Brits are travelling abroad without adequate travel insurance. Even spontaneous and gambler bookers should not travel without cover as it only takes a few minutes to buy a policy.

Date Created: 04 March 2014

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