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Why companies save money when female employees travel

Brittany Jones-Cooper
Women help companies save millions of dollars by booking their travel earlier.

Companies looking to save money on travel should hire more women.

As with anything else, men and women travel differently. Women tend to check their bags, while men like to carry on. Women prefer window seats while men opt for the aisle. So it comes as no surprise that men and women also book travel differently too.

According to a new research published in Harvard Business Review (HBR), women typically buy their plane tickets two days earlier than men, a lead time that results in an average savings of $113 per ticket. 

Why do women book their travel sooner? A previous study conducted by HBR showed that women report having higher stress during travel, and may use organization as a way to offset travel anxiety.

But that $113 figure doesn’t reflect various route options, differences in class, or disparities in what time of year the travel occurred. When those things are factored in, the HBR found that women saved about $17 per trip. While that might sound like small potatoes, it can net nearly $1 million dollars in savings for a multinational company that employs 21,000 travelers.

When it comes to specific groups, millennial women showed the smallest difference in advance planning, although women at any age group still book earlier than men.

Frequent business travelers are the one group where this rule doesn’t apply. The study found that there was no difference in booking between men and women who were on the road more than 20 times a year. It turns out more travel equals less advance booking, regardless of gender.

The Harvard Business Review examined a database of 6.4 million flight bookings in 2014 to reach their conclusion.

If you want to be a part of the solution and not the problem, here are some quick tips on the perfect time to book airfare.

  1. There is a sweet spot when it comes to booking airfare. Book too late or too early and you’ll wind up paying more. According to Hopper, a booking site that monitors thousands of flights every day, it’s best to book your flight at least 25 days in advance of your departure. With that said, never book more than 150 days before your trip.

  2. It’s helpful to download an app like Hopper or Kayak, which both have pretty specific price forecasts. Just enter the dates you want to fly, and the apps will tell you if and when prices are expected to rise or fall.

  3. According to FareCompare, the best time to book a flight is Tuesday at 3 p.m EST. This is when airlines release the most sales.

Do you have a question about saving money on airfare? Email us at yfmoneymailbag@yahoo.com.