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Take to the skies again with some air travel tips

At NHS Solutions, we help our Interim Nurse Leaders with travel logistics. Most interim leadership contracts include travel home twice per month. Often this includes air travel. When we search for candidates to fill interim nurse leader roles, home location is not part of the initial conversation. We firstly look at credential and culture fit for a specific hospital leadership need. As a company however, after a successful placement, we do become involved in logistics and of course cost is something we endeavor to manage. NHS Solutions has a fiduciary responsibility to our hospital clients while balancing the provision of comfortable itineraries for our Interim Nurse Leaders.

AmTrav

NHS Solutions uses a web-based travel platform that works similar to expedia.com or booking.com. AmTrav has been a great tool for our company that enables our Interim Nurse Leaders to search and choose their preferred itinerary without having to front the cost of the travel. We wanted to share the results of an in-depth study AmTrav just completed. Of course it is interesting for companies looking to control travel costs but it is equally interesting to individual travelers.

Airfare Price Movement

AmTrav studied over 917 million airfares. Their purpose was to understand how prices move and help their clients make informed decisions about how far in advance to book flights. Did you know that the airfare for a domestic flight changes 69 times on average from the date it is initially open for booking? Airline tickets are generally offered for sale almost a year before travel. This is when prices tend to be high and then slowly decrease until they begin to rise again. They spike up close to departure date. Intuitively, most travelers know this and have experienced it. Often, the decision to wait on a purchase must be balanced with the need for flexibility. Itineraries and plans change.

Green Zone

  • 60-21 days in advance
  • Prices are generally lowest in the green zone. Within 5% of their lowest point

Yellow Zone

  • 20-14 days in advance
  • The yellow zone is a good time to book. Average prices increase but not by a significant amount

Light and Dark Red Zone

  • Less than 14 days in advance and spiking again 6 days before departure

Change Fees Eliminated

Since most change fees have now been eliminated, the constraint of needing to wait to commit to a flight itinerary has eased greatly. This means travelers can book their flights during the lowest price window, knowing that if a change is required, there is not penalty, just any additional fare price.

Optimal Booking Time

Does it matter what day of the week you book?

A Skyscanner report revealed that prices vary only about $4 across weekdays so the old idea that Tuesdays are the best day to book is not that important anymore. Here’s a handy reference table:

And finally, Skyscanner predicts that May is the most expensive month to book flights. Their report found that prices in May were 7% higher than the yearly average.

At NHS Solutions, we work with our Interim Nurse Leaders to balance the need for flexibility and the cost for our hospital clients. Our team understands that it is often impossible for our Interim Leaders to know when they will be able to take their trips home. They are working long hours in often challenging circumstances especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate and applaud the work they do and offer 24/7 support to our team. Contact us if you would like to discuss the benefits of joining our team as an Interim Nurse Leader.