Economics professor Claudio Piga has researched airline's flight COSTs Says passengers booking trip at least seven weeks in advance pay more Added that fares are raised by 50-75% in last few days before departure
The best way to outsmart Ryanair's pricing policy is to book ten days before your flight departs, it was claimed today.
Economics professor Claudio Piga said he has researched the low-cost airline’s flight costs - and found passengers booking their trip at least seven weeks in advance pay more.
But the Keele University expert also found that fares are raised by between 50 and 75 per cent in the last few days before departure, meaning last-minute bargain hunting is not the best method.
Mr Piga claimed low-cost airlines know some people will regularly book early because they have to travel on a certain day, reported Sunday Times social affairs editor Nicholas Hellen.
And to avoid complicating business when people book flights at the last minute, the airlines want late bookers to know that they will face price rises.
The professor described prices from low-cost airlines as being on a ‘U-shaped temporal profile’, with best value available ten days before take-off.
He realised that the price of seats on flights went up by around 3 per cent every time one was sold.
But a Ryanair spokesman told the Sunday Times that the research was ‘hopelessly inaccurate’.
He added: ‘Ryanair's lowest fares are sold on a first come, first served basis and rise only as quickly as the low fare class are sold in the six months prior to departure.’
Mr Piga will present his findings at the Royal Economic Society conference in Manchester this week.
In a previous similar study in 2003, the expert claimed that passengers who book early do not always get the cheapest seats on low-cost airlines.