Skyscanner, a flight comparison website, analysed (02-Feb-2010) data from three of its most popular routes from the UK, reporting a significant change in the way people are booking flights since the global downturn commenced. Users searched for flights an average of 34 days ahead of when they planned to travel in 2009, compared to 146 days ahead in 2008. [more]
Skyscanner: "There are two obvious reasons for this trend for later bookings. In the middle of the UK's worst recession in decades, many people didn't want to book holidays too far in advance, in case they lost their jobs. People also need to feel confident about the viability of airlines. Over the last 18 months, a number of airlines have folded and people are much more cautious of losing flights if they book too far ahead. The irony of this is that although people are understandably keen to be financially prudent, it can be self-defeating as it's almost always cheaper to book flights in advance - prices tend to rise the closer you get to the date of departure," Barry Smith, Co-founder and Director. Source: Skyscanner, 02-Feb-2010.