Not fare to fly late

BUSINESSES can cut airfare costs by up to 72 per cent if they book three weeks in advance of travel, according to a new study.

FCm Travel Solutions general manager Shannon O’Brien, says his company began a study in November with a February departure date, that found last minute fares cost 123 per cent more on average.

“Our airfare studies show there are significant price rises on last minute tickets, but travellers have the potential to save hundreds of dollars on their airfares by planning ahead and booking early,” says O’Brien.

“FCm recommends travellers discuss options with their travel manager to work out which airfares are best suited to their business travel needs.

“Travellers who know the dates for their outbound travel are not going to change, can buy a discounted, restricted ticket and then a flexible ticket for their flight home if they think they may need to change their return flight.”

O’Brien believes a growing number of Australian businesses will be mandating advanced bookings in their travel policies.

“Companies looking to keep a tight reign on their spending this year will continue to enforce the stringent travel policies they introduced as a result of the GFC,” he says.

“This will include making sure their travellers book their airfares as early as possible to take advantage of discount fares.”

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