Ryanair Christmas airfares

Cheapest days to fly during holiday season

Year 2015 is coming to the end and many people are enjoying holidays with their families. At the same time in Europe this is one of the busiest moment of year for air travel. The demand for flights is extremely high as people go home for Christmas or go to celebrate the New Year’s Eve in other European cities.

Ryanair, as the most popular European budget airline has busy schedule these days. As they fly to many long tail destinations, it is especially a good option for travelers returning to their home town for Christmas.

We have taken a moment to analyze Ryanair airfares for flight departing during this year’s holiday season to

find what are the cheapest days to fly during Christmas.

We have analyzed the prices for 1114 Ryanair flights departing between 15 and 31 December of 2015. The data was collected between May and December of 2015 and contained more than 500 thousand daily price observations.

Notice that Ryanair stop flying at 16:00 on the Christmas Eve and do not fly on the 25th of December.

For each flight we compared the prices for each departure to the average price for this flight in December. The results are presented in the following chart. The higher a bar is, more expensive price for that day is.

One can notice that the price start increasing for departures from December, 17. Consistently high prices are maintained for departures between 24–30 December.

The most expensive departure is December, 27.

It is 50% more expensive than the average price for the same flight in December. Intuitively it seems to be the day when most of the people return back from Christmas celebration. Also this year it happens to be Sunday which is also generally a popular day for flying.

We have also analyzed the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive price per day of departure.

For the peak days during the holiday season there is

3-times price difference

between the cheapest and the most expensive airfare available for a given flight. That’s how much a passenger sitting next to you may have paid for the same ticket.

However notice that this ratio is lower comparing to mid-December when it reaches 5x difference. That can be explained by the fact that during the peak days airfares are generally higher and there are not many slots on the lower price range.

All these price patterns are considered by Airhint airfare predictor which could help to find the best moment for booking.

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