Black Friday UK & Ireland airline flight sales - what to expect

Black Friday UK & Ireland airline flight sales - what to expect

    Black Friday and Cyber Monday are on their way once again… but is it all hype or do airlines really make it worth the wait?

    Since we’re the experts on finding flight deals, and we’ve been tracking flight prices for five years now, we’re in a good place to know. The short answer is that yes - for many airlines, it’s a great time to buy.

    This year should be interesting, since it’s the first year that flights are being sold without the worries of pandemic travel restrictions. 

    At the same time, we have inflation and cost of living crisis worries on top of a summer of travel chaos, making it much harder to make predictions.

    The past does not predict the future, but it definitely gives us some useful clues and can point you in the right direction. 

    Read on to find out what kind of flight deals we’ve seen in past Black Friday sales, and see our predictions for what to expect in 2022.

    Heads up: At Jack’s Flight Club, we have our own exacting standards for what counts as “a deal”. We’re not interested in sales advertised by airlines that are still way more expensive than we know that route can go. 

    If you’re loyal to a particular airline that you don’t see here, it might be because their sales are only cheaper compared to their own historical fares. We focus on sharing the cheapest flights overall, comparing the entire market.

    Aer Lingus

    Ireland’s airline isn’t just for deals from Ireland. Their connecting flights to airports across the UK make them a compelling way to fly to the US & Canada, especially thanks to the security preclearance in Dublin.

    Through the years

    2019: Australia from Dublin in €670s-€750s, connecting to a Singapore Airlines deal from London.
    2020: USA & Canada from across the UK in £370s-£400s, including checked luggage.
    2021: The Caribbean, USA & Canada from across the UK (£230s - £380s) & Ireland (€180s-€400s).

    What to expect in 2022

    Aer Lingus usually does something for Black Friday, although something truly deal-worthy is not guaranteed.

    It is likely that they’ll discount their new route to Barbados from Manchester into deal range - somewhere between £320-£370 rtn.

    It wouldn’t be surprising to see deals to their North American destinations again, either. Unfortunately, Aer Lingus stopped including checked luggage on those at the end of 2020.

    Air New Zealand

    One of our favourite Black Friday sales used to be Air New Zealand’s, with their non-stop London to Los Angeles route always available at some ridiculous price.

    They used to do a limited number of seats around £175 rtn. If you missed that, their regular sale price of around £330 rtn was still very good considering it came with hold luggage included.

    Through the years

    2017: Limited seats to Los Angeles at £175 rtn, then £339 rtn. 50 tickets to Auckland at £399 rtn
    2018: Limited seats to Los Angeles at £175 rtn, then £310 rtn.
    2019: Limited seats to Los Angeles at £179 rtn, then £319 rtn.
    2020: No BF Sale
    2021: No BF Sale

    What to expect in 2022

    Sadly, Air New Zealand permanently cancelled their London to Los Angeles flights, so we can only hope that they switch their focus to their New Zealand routes. 

    If you like the airline and want to fly with them, it’ll be a good time to buy, but they’ve always been more expensive than a typical deal to New Zealand with another airline.

    Air Transat

    This Canadian airline doesn’t have a long history of doing Black Friday deals, but they have tested the waters and could be worth a look this year.

    They do announce sales quite often, and they can be very convenient for flights to Canadian cities like Quebec & Montreal that from London that have very little competition from other airlines.

    Outside of London, we can see deals from Glasgow to Toronto and from Manchester to Toronto & Vancouver.

    Through the years

    2019: Non-stop to Vancouver from London & Manchester in £350s-£360s rtn.

    What to expect in 2022

    We give it a 50/50 chance of seeing decent deals in this year’s Black Friday sale. Air Transat deals do tend to include peak dates more often than other airlines do, so that’s something to watch out for.

    British Airways

    If you live in the UK, and especially if you live in London, the British Airways sale is always one to watch out for. They fly to pretty much everywhere anyone is interested in travelling to.

    Destinations only BA fly non-stop to (and their expected sale prices in brackets) include:

    • Costa Rica (under £400 rtn)
    • Bermuda (under £450 rtn)
    • Peru (under £450 rtn)
    • Japan (under £500 rtn)
    • Chile (under £550 rtn)
       

    If you’re looking to go to any major US or Canadian city or to one of their many Caribbean island destinations, their Black Friday sale is likely a good time to book, too.

    They usually have sales at the end of August and from Boxing Day on, but British Airways jumped into the Black Friday game properly in 2018 to bridge the gap between their main sale seasons.

    Through the years

    2018: Business class flights to the USA in low £900s rtn & some to Asia, like South Korea at £839 rtn.
    2019: An unimpressive sale overshadowed by their summer and winter holiday season sales.
    2020: BA issued a 20% discount code for all flights which led to some of the best deals we've seen. Sydney at £520 rtn, Barbados at £315 rtn, Mauritius at £387 rtn and much more.
    2021: Pretty average again, their other sales this year had better deals. Virgin Atlantic bested their fares on any route they both fly.

    What to expect in 2022

    British Airways summer sale was very disappointing this year, but the “Summer of Chaos” in the travel world would explain that - flight prices were sky-high all around. We’re expecting a better showing from Black Friday, since it seems things are returning to normal.

    Unfortunately, we definitely won’t be seeing new deals to Peru, Osaka, Durban, Seoul, the Seychelles, and a number of other routes that British Airways have permanently cancelled.

    It’s possible that it’ll be a good sale for Business class flights, since there should be less demand in the post-Covid world.

    Cathay Pacific

    Deals with this airline have really dried up during the pandemic, sadly. We used to see them all the time.  They do reliably run some kind of sale for Black Friday, whether it makes for a great deal or not is a different question.

    Their sales would usually be great for non-stop deals to Hong Kong, to countries across South East Asia (including rarer destinations like Cambodia & the Philippines) and to Australia. 

    A nice bonus is that their deals usually work from Manchester too.

    Through the years

    2017: London to Bali at £374 rtn
    2018: No BF sale, but they did a Christmas sale to South East Asia & Australia.
    2019: No BF sale.
    2020: BF sale with 25% off if you buy two or more tickets. Deals to Hong Kong, South East Asia & Australia.
    2021: BF sale announced, but deals were unimpressive.

    What to expect in 2022

    Because it’s been so long since we had a Cathay Pacific sale, we’re somewhat hopeful that Black Friday this year is when they decide to let loose again. 

    A deal on their non-stop route to Hong Kong is most likely, but deals to across Asia and to Australia were fairly common, so we wouldn’t rule them out.

    easyJet

    Until the pandemic, there wasn’t much interest in Black Friday sales from easyJet, but they’re onboard now!

    Their 2020 sale was special because all the deals worked for peak summer next year, although nobody knew at the time if you’d be able to travel then or not. It turns out the answer was “kind of”. 

    The year after was much more modest with dates, but we did see highlights like Cyprus and the Canary Islands for around £30 - £40 rtn.

    Through the years

    2020: Sale on all their routes, including trips in peak summer 2021 in £40s-£50s rtn.
    2021: All of their routes again, but only with winter dates. Prices in £30s-£40s rtn but a cabin bag is now extra. 

    What to expect in 2022

    We think it’s very likely they’ll have another sale this year. If the pattern continues, we’re expecting another sale with most of their routes covered, but with a limited selection of winter dates again.

    Emirates

    We would love to see Emirates get into the Black Friday sale game again because their last one was a banger. It has been four years already though, c’mon guys!

    Their sale covered most of their destinations in Asia & Oceania and was made even more exciting by the possibility of combining destinations into one big trip. 

    You could find trips to Australia with a stop in Thailand on the way there and a stop in Bali on the way back, all for around £700-£750 rtn. Plus, it worked from all of their UK departures: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

    Since then, Emirates haven’t done anything on Black Friday we consider worth mentioning.

    Through the years

    2018: Deals to Australia/New Zealand in £600s rtn and most of Southeast/East Asia in £370s-£450s rtn.

    What to expect in 2022

    Not much. If you like flying with a swankier airline, it’s worth checking if they announce anything (or join Jack’s Flight Club, so you get a heads-up), but the chance of a big Black Friday sale are pretty slim.

    Singapore Airlines

    It’s a reasonably safe bet when sale season comes around that you can grab a deal on Singapore Airlines’ route from Manchester to Houston.

    Houston, Texas (under £350 rtn)

    We wonder if they fly this route just so they can claim to be the only Skytrax 5-star rated to fly from the UK to the USA!

    We’ve also seen them do deals to Australia in 2019. Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide all in the range of £600-£630s rtn.

    It’s not uncommon for Singapore Airlines to do random non-seasonal sales with great deals to South East Asia. Especially their non-stop to Singapore routes from London & Manchester, and many more destinations with a connection.

    Through the years

    2018: Manchester to Houston at £325 rtn.
    2019: Manchester to Houston at £364 rtn & Australia in £630s rtn from London.
    2020: No BF sale, but they run great sale for South East Asia in December in £450s-£490s rtn.
    2021: No BF sale, with a small sale to Australia in £610s-£640s rtn around Christmastime.

    What to expect in 2022

    We’re expecting to see Singapore Airlines re-join the Black Friday sale party this year now that air travel is operating normally, more or less.

    A deal on their Manchester to Houston route is highly likely.

    Otherwise, they have been very quiet on sales since the Covid pandemic started, so there’s an outside chance that they catch up on lost time by including their South East Asia or Australia routes. Maybe even both!

    Ryanair

    A bit of a change of pace with everyone’s favourite airline (we joke, of course). Ryanair run a sale almost every second day, but we have noticed that their recent Black Friday sales have been stronger than their typical stuff.

    The trend lately has been towards “BOGOF” sales, two tickets for the price of one. You and your travel buddy get cheaper tickets, Ryanair fills two seats, it’s win-win.

    It is worth noting that their sale usually only includes winter dates - not the more popular times to travel. That doesn’t mean you can’t go enjoy some European Christmas markets or some winter sun in the south of Spain though :-)

    Through the years

    2019: Buy one, get one free all over Europe, including Greece & the Canary Islands.
    2020: £10 flights, mostly to Italy & Central/Eastern Europe.
    2021: Buy one, get one free all over Europe

    What to expect in 2022

    Another buy one, get one free sale is highly likely with a travel period up to February. Their sales usually include most of their routes, so you should be able to get a discount on the destination you’re after.

    United Airlines

    United don’t always show up for Black Friday, but when they do, they hit big. 

    As a US airline, you won’t be surprised to hear that their deals generally cover the USA. Luckily, this includes Hawaii sometimes, as we discovered in 2020.

    Through the years

    2018: An excellent non-stop to the USA deal from across the UK in £230s-£280s rtn.
    2019: No BF sale
    2020: Hawaii from across the UK in £470s-£500s rtn
    2021: No BF sale

    What to expect in 2022

    It’s hard to predict if they’ll have a sale this year, but the “one year on, one year off” pattern we’re seeing is a good omen. Another Hawaii deal certainly wouldn’t hurt… go on, we dare you!

    Virgin Atlantic

    The long-time rival to British Airways is always going toe-to-toe with them during sales. The winner changes from year to year, so it’s always worth comparing on the day before you book.

    Virgin Atlantic do fly to a few destinations that British Airways don’t:

    • St Vincent & the Grenadines
    • Orlando (from Manchester & Scotland)
    • Barbados (from Manchester)
    • Pakistan

    They used to fly non-stop to Havana from London too, but that flight was axed during the pandemic. We hope they give it another chance one day because it was the only non-stop route from the UK.

    Through the years

    2017: Deals to Dubai (£259 rtn), the USA (£310s-£340s rtn w/bags) and the Caribbean (£430s rtn).
    2018: Deals to Dubai (£281 rtn), China (£380s rtn) and the Caribbean (£380s-£410s rtn).
    2019: Deals to the Caribbean (£390s-£450s rtn)
    2020: Excellent deals to all of their destinations. E.g. Caribbean in £320s rtn, California/Las Vegas in £300s rtn.
    2021: Deals to all of their destinations in both economy & premium economy. For example, NY/Boston in £270s rtn, Antigua at £303 rtn in economy and £480s rtn,  £726 rtn in premium economy.

    What to expect in 2022

    Like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic have embraced Black Friday as a bridge between their other big sale periods in late summer and starting on Boxing Day. 

    This year, their late summer sale was quite underwhelming, but we’re definitely expecting some better deals by the time Black Friday comes around.

    Our safest prediction would be on deals to the Caribbean, with a good chance of deals to large US cities like New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Orlando.

    Other airlines

    Was there another airline you were interested in? There are some big airlines missing from this list, like KLM/Air France, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines and more. You might find them on our other article that explains airline sales.

    It doesn’t mean they don’t do Black Friday sales, just that we haven’t seen them produce anything that’s truly deal-worthy for the UK market, in our expert opinion. 

    We only share sales that are truly deals. That means good value and historically low prices when compared against all of their competitors.

    So if there’s an airline you like to fly with, it’s always going to be worth checking for a sale on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Just because we haven’t listed it here, it doesn’t mean they don’t have some discounts.

    We would always recommend checking the price of a flight you’re interested in a week or two before sale time, so you know exactly how much they’ve actually discounted it on the day. Airlines like to get creative with how they advertise their prices sometimes.

    Conclusion

    You’re now ready for the big day - you now know the history and our predictions for every airline we’ve seen in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales from the UK.

    We’ll keep this article up to date, so you can bookmark it and use it year after year as a handy sale season money-saving guidebook.

    Of course, if you want to know about the sales as they happen, you should sign up for Jack’s Flight Club if you aren’t already a member. Finding cheap flights (all year round) is kinda our thing.