As an American consumer, you already know about the huge sales coming each Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You may even know about how that retail tradition has spread to online airfare purchases for the Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving.
But did you know there’s an even bigger shopping holiday that started in China, and is spreading throughout the world? They call it “Singles Day” and it dwarfs american retail holidays in scope, size, and savings. Here’s how it works.
What is Singles Day?
Singles day is November 11: 11/11. So named because all the digits in the date are the numeral one. It started in China as a pop-culture phenomenon that was basically the opposite of Valentine’s day. Single people would use the day to celebrate their freedom and independence.
Couples started celebrating the holiday as well (with over 4,000 couples getting married on 11/11/11 in Beijing alone), then the retailers got involved and the holiday exploded. It is now the largest shopping holiday in the world.
In 2017, Black Friday racked up $7.9 billion USD in sales. Cyber Monday for that year totalled $6.59 billion USD. Both numbers were record-setting performances for each holiday. That year, Singles Day brought in a whopping $25.4 billion. That’s just shy of double the Cyber Monday and Black Friday earnings combined.
Singles day is a big deal for global retailers, especially in China and surrounding countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. And it’s becoming a big deal for the travel industry, as well.Search Singles Day Deals on Our App
What Airlines Offer Singles Day Deals?
Not every airline has jumped on the Singles Day bandwagon yet. As of 2018, Alibaba is the major player on that date with only minor responses from other sites. However, some airlines do offer Singles Day deals.
As with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we won’t know for sure who offers what until the holiday starts. However, here’s what we saw in previous years as Airlines joined the Singles Day phenomenon. Like you probably expect, the overwhelming majority of participating airlines are China-Based and serving Asian destinations.
Several airlines are offering discounts on select flights, with the following recorded for 2017.
- China Eastern Airlines offering 22% discounts
- Shanghai Airlines offering 22% discounts, and an 11% off coupon for the next flight booked
- Air China offering a 30% discount
Also keep an eye out for special pricing promotions that echo the double-digit theme for the holiday. Air China offered round-trip tickets within Asia for 666 yuan (about $97 USD), and 1,111 yuan round trips to Europe, Australia, Africa, and North America (approximately $160 USD).
Other airlines expected to participate this year include Hainan Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Spring Air, West Air, China United Airlines, and Cathay Pacific.
Though few western airlines participate fully or officially, some experts advise that prices may drop in response to the sales…so it’s worth keeping an eye on ticket prices as Singles Day approaches using our price tracker feature to keep you “in the loop” as prices drop.
Don’t Forget About the Retail Side
It’s true that Singles Day isn’t travel-heavy like the western Big Shopping Days, but that doesn’t mean it’s not without opportunity to save on your next vacation.
Experienced travelers will tell you that the flight and lodging are the most expensive parts of a trip, but that the supplies and equipment can also add up to real expenditures. Sometimes, the costs of luggage, clothing, travel items, etc. can be an unanticipated cost that cuts deeply into the money you could spend on having the experience of a lifetime.
While shopping for your Singles Day Travel Deal, also consider what other things you might need to buy to make your trip as smooth and convenient as possible. There’s an excellent chance you can find those items at a deep discount on this largest shopping holiday of the year.
Last year, travelers found deep discounts on travel gadgets of various kinds, roller bags, sunglasses, swimwear, and clothing of all sorts. Whatever’s missing from your travel needs lists, you will almost certainly be able to find.
One Last Bit of Singles Day Advice
Singles day is by Chinese people for Chinese people, so some of the best deals are on websites that aren’t translated into English. Using Google Translate (or a friend who reads Mandarin) can help you score deals you otherwise wouldn’t know existed.
Whether you find a great travel deal for Singles Day, or you want to escape by yourself for the holiday weekend, or just have some travel gear you want to take on its maiden voyage…Skyscanner has your back. Check out these fabulous destinations in the Singles Day Sphere to plan your next trip at the lowest possible cost.