Black Friday UK & Ireland airline flight sales 2023 - what to expect

Black Friday UK & Ireland airline flight sales 2023 - what to expect

    We refresh this article every year with new predictions, so you can have a better idea of what to expect by the time the next Black Friday sale comes around! 


    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 cheap flights, and we’ve been tracking 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.

    That being said, we have inflation and cost of living crisis worries to contend with, 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 2023.

    We’re focusing on the sales you'll see in the UK below, but we also have a rundown of what you can expect if you're in the USA over here. Enjoy! 

    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.

    They’ve focussed their Black Friday sales mainly on their routes to the US, Canada and the Caribbean over the past few years.

    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).
    2022: USA, Canada and the Caribbean (specifically Barbados and Puerto Rico) from the UK (£330s-£490s) and Europe (€390s-€480s). Included super-cheap checked baggage upgrade (£10-£15).

    What to expect in 2023

    Aer Lingus usually does something for Black Friday, although it has been a little hit and miss over the past few years. Last year we were pleasantly surprised with a cheap checked bag upgrade (something that’s becoming way all too rare these days). Let’s hope we get at least a repeat this year! 

    If you’re flying to the USA, it’s likely you’ll see something you like. The airline has recently announced flights between Dublin and Minneapolis/Denver, and it would be really nice to see them drop into the €400s for the first time. Pretty please?  

    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. Unfortunately for us, they cancelled those flights during the pandemic, and haven’t been revived since. Boo…

    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.

    The past few years’ they’ve still not indulged us with a Black Friday sale on their flights to NZ, which is a crying shame since demand is high. But, flight prices have been even higher. 

    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
    2022: No BF Sale

    What to expect in 2023

    We’re starting to wonder when we should retire Air New Zealand from this list, as they haven’t given us any Black Friday love since before the pandemic. After they cancelled their favoured sale route, they’ve never even given us a look in for their remaining NZ fares. 

    If they do pull it out of the bag this year, and you like flying with the airline, it’ll be a good time to buy. That being said, they’ve always been more expensive than typical prices to New Zealand than with other airlines, so it probably won’t be super cheap.  

    TLDR; we aren’t holding our breath they’ll show us anything spectacular this year.

    Air Transat

    This Canadian airline doesn’t have a long history of doing Black Friday deals, but they did test the waters last year with, to put it nicely, an unimpressive offering. Prices just didn’t stack up against other airlines running between the UK and Canada. 

    They do announce sales now and again, though, and they can be very convenient for flights from London to Canadian cities like Quebec & Montreal, that have less competition from other airlines than Toronto.

    Outside of London, we see cheap fares from Glasgow and Manchester to Toronto.

    Through the years

    2019: Non-stop to Vancouver from London & Manchester in £350s-£360s rtn.
    2022: They did have an announced sale in Canada, but we didn’t see any cheap fares on this side of the pond.

    What to expect in 2023

    There will probably be a Black Friday sale from Air Transat, but like last year, it may not amount to much. In the past, Air Transat has tended 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)
    • Chile (under £550 rtn) 
    • Argentina (under £600 rtn)

    BA used to also fly non-stop to Lima, but cancelled that route during the pandemic, and South American airline LATAM were more than happy to swoop in and take their place. 

    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 prices 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.
    2022: BA focussed all their attention on the US, with their cheapest fares non-stop from London to the East Coast, West Coast and Florida. The best was Orlando at £280 rtn.

    What to expect in 2023

    This year’s British Airways summer sale was a huge improvement on 2022’s. Given how poor last years’ sale was amidst the ‘Summer of Chaos’ though (remember that?!), it really wasn’t hard to beat.  

    When in doubt, it’s a good idea to look at sales throughout the year to get a gauge on what to expect for Black Friday. So far this year, BA’s focus has been the usual: decent short-haul fares around Europe under £60 rtn, USA and Canada in £290s-£420s rtn. 

    A welcome return this year though has been China—especially with low prices in the £600s rtn for premium economy. 

    What does this all mean? Well, you’ll likely see these countries go cheap again for BF, plus India and the Caribbean (which always seem to pop up). It would really be a treat to see their new Argentinian route from London at a decent price too – go on, BA, you know you want to. 

    Cathay Pacific

    Cheaper flights 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’s worth booking or not is a different question.

    Their sales would usually be great for non-stop flights 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 cheap prices 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.
    2022: BF sale announced, but again, the deals were unimpressive.

    What to expect in 2023

    Because it’s been so long since we had a proper Cathay Pacific sale, we’re feeling hopefully optimistic that this is the year they decide to let loose again. 

    Keep an eye on their non-stop route to Hong Kong, but cheap flights to across Asia and to Australia used to be fairly common too, 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 the flights covered 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.

    They brought back some nicer early-summer dates in 2022, with some really decent prices across the board (way more than we can say for their low-budget competitors…*cough cough*). 

    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. 
    2022: Better than 2021! With trips across Europe, Morocco and Turkey in the £30s-£80s rtn, but this time with dates all the way into April-June.

    What to expect in 2023

    easyJet were one of the better surprises from last year’s sales. Mainly because our expectations were on the floor. 

    In comparison to Wizz Air and Ryanair, their prices were close to the lowest we’d ever seen, and their date coverage was generous. Instead of just sticking to winter dates, we were blessed with some trips creeping into early summer. A win! 

    Let’s hope they match their offering this year…is hoping for peak-summer dates a step too far? 

    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 five 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.
    2022: Nothing from Emirates—still waiting for those elusive fares. 

    What to expect in 2023

    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.

    jetBlue

    Wooooah, jetBlue laid down the gauntlet last year by undercutting their competitors’ prices by £50+. And charging about half what the others were for a bag upgrade. We love to see it. 

    Also, you can usually connect through Newark to connect to cities that may otherwise be tricky to reach, like Burlington, Richmond, Raleigh and Syracuse. Basically, they unlock most of Eastern USA. 

    Through the years

    2022: London to USA in £300s-£420s rtn

    What to expect in 2023

    It’s pretty likely they’ll have some sort of sale during Black Friday week within the US. Whether they extend that to their UK departures is less certain. If they do, you can almost guarantee you’ll see their routes to the East Coast (NY, Boston, Chicago…) in the firing line. 

    Of course, we’ll take Puerto Rico too. But if they really want to treat us, they’ll discount their fabled Mint Class, aka our favourite business class experience from any US airline. One word: luxe. 

    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.

    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.
    2022: Black Friday sale was announced, but nothing worth covering. 

    What to expect in 2023

    We’re hoping to see a little more than what they delivered in 2022, but we’re not expecting much. 

    Hopefully their Manchester to Houston route will be down in at least the £450s (which we’ve seen a couple of times this year). We also saw a whisper of cheaper tickets to Australia in June, but the dates were very limited. 

    Maybe they’ll finally bite the bullet and give us what we really want: some decent drops on South East Asia and lots more trips to Australia!

    TAP Air Portugal

    It’s a surprise that an airline as sale-happy as TAP hasn’t come across our Black Friday radar since 2020. Wow, it’s been an age. They don’t even fly to Cape Town anymore :(

    And after all that time, they delivered…okay prices to Lisbon and Porto. Not as cheap as we usually see with budget airlines, but at least they give you a full-sized cabin bag, so you can usually get away with the price being a little higher than their super-low-cost brethren.

    Through the years

    2020: The best fares were a random assortment of Montreal and Cape Town in £340s-£380s rtn
    2022: London, Manchester and Dublin to Lisbon and Porto in £60s-£70s

    What to expect in 2023

    While we would looooove to see TAP go crazy and give you some decent fares across the pond (and beyond), it’s likely they’ll stick to Portugal like last year.

    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 Black Friday sales until 2021 were  stronger than their typical stuff.

    In particular, their “BOGOF” sale in 2021, two tickets for the price of one. You and your travel buddy get cheaper tickets, Ryanair fills two seats, it’s win-win.

    Sadly, 2022 didn’t quite live up to the hype. Instead of a “BOGOF”, we got a “BOGOHP”: buy one, get one half price. Not as snappy (or as good value) as recent years. 

    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
    2022: Buy one, get one half price, with a focus on winter dates.

    What to expect in 2023

    Let’s hope they rewind to 2021 with a classic ‘BOGOF’ sale! We’d be surprised if they don’t just stick to winter dates, as they have previously. 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 cheapest flights generally cover the USA. Luckily, this includes Hawaii sometimes, as we discovered in 2020.

    In 2022, they didn’t even have a domestic US sale, so there was no hope they would share the love internationally. Maybe next year!

    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
    2022: No BF sale

    What to expect in 2023

    This one is really hard to say. We’ve really not seen too much sale action from United in the lead up to Black Friday—for example, they didn’t even have an announced post-summer sale. So, it’s likely they’ll take another year off. 

    On the other hand, they might be saving it all up to unleash a bonanza, covering Europe to the USA, including those rare Hawaii fares. We’ll have our fingers crossed that it’s the latter.

    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:

    • Orlando (from Manchester)
    • Barbados (from Manchester) – though Aer Lingus does also fly this route
    • Jamaica

    They used to fly non-stop to Havana, Lahore and Islamabad from London too, but these flights were axed during the pandemic. We hope they give the Cuban route 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.
    2022: Non-stop deals to India and a rare route to Saint Vincent were discounted nicely (in the £420s-£450s rtn). Later in the week they dropped their premium economy flights to Osaka, Cancún and lots of US cities.

    What to expect in 2023

    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. 

    Last year, they pulled a fast one on us by coming through with premium economy price drops a few days after their initial sale launched. So, it’s worth checking in with them throughout the week to see if they pull something special out of the bag. 

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

    Widerøe

    Widerøe’s first Black Friday appearance! They snuck onto the scene with some super peak-summer routes to Norway. Which just so happens to be the right time to do all that fjord stuff. Lovely. 

    Even though we only thought their flights from Aberdeen were worth a mention, they also fly from other airports across the UK (including smaller ones like Liverpool and Newcastle), to other cities in the deepest depths of the Arctic Circle. 

    Through the years

    2022: Aberdeen to Bergen/Stavanger in peak summer in £90s-£110s rtn

    What to expect in 2023

    We don’t have much data to go off here, but we are hoping with all our hearts that you’ll see lots more routes across Norway this year, including places like Tromsø that are generally pretty hard to get to.

    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 worth checking out for UK travellers, in our expert opinion. 

    We only share sales that are truly worth it. 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.