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Old 06-13-2014, 06:31 PM
 
3,431 posts, read 3,046,217 times
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Buying a ticket so that you fly in the middle of the week might get you a slightly lower ticket price.
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:03 AM
 
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I bought a return trip to Ottawa, paying flexible return date extra. When I chose my return date, the adjustment fee plus the pre-purchased return airfare was more than it cost to buy a ticket on the spot that day. It would have been better to buy two one way tickets ... especially since I was traveling last minute and pre-booking a return date wasn't an option. Advanced booking usually means a lower fare.
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Old 06-14-2014, 06:15 AM
 
Location: Florida
19,786 posts, read 19,891,223 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Bear View Post

The problem with playing games with "false" bookings is that the airlines now know you are a buyer. They don't know exactly when, although I am sure their algorithms know, on average, how far ahead people are generally looking (it is pretty easy to model human behavior), but they know you are a buyer....and they adjust their fares, literally, right at that moment. I might log on 30 minutes later, have never searched the flight before, and get a better deal.

.
Interesting.
I was searching flights for approximately a month ahead, selected one but didn't complete.
The next day I decided to go ahead with it and it was $7 more, not less.
The funny part is that by flight date the plane was not filled to capacity so it wasn't a competing for seats situation.
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Old 06-14-2014, 07:39 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,126 posts, read 17,133,831 times
Reputation: 9980
Quote:
Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
Interesting.
I was searching flights for approximately a month ahead, selected one but didn't complete.
The next day I decided to go ahead with it and it was $7 more, not less.
The funny part is that by flight date the plane was not filled to capacity so it wasn't a competing for seats situation.

Airlines "Cache" their Prices, in the front end of the res system. Only when you click the "Buy" button does it go to the back end to take the seat out of inventory. If the seat has been sold, or re-priced its no longer available. I personally think it fraud, or bait and switch.

There are Technical Plus & Minuses, They can present fares quickly, with less computer hardware, but since it may be displaying the fare to dozens of people at the same time, the first one to buy get it.

For the buyer, the fares display alot quicker,

Old Res system use to put hold on seat/fare when you did the inquiry, that would lock it out for anyone else to see, if you did not buy it it would release the hold when you moved off that screen.

Since there are so many travel site that do fare pulls now they would be locking / unlocking the seat/fare hundreds of times per day. That puts alot of overhead (More computer hardware) on there system.

My feeling its it should do a fare lock as soon as you select the fare, On the fare display when you select it to buy (Do a hard fare query / Lock) , it should then to a fare lock, so the fare can not change as you move thru all the screen before the buy button.

old_cold: Fares are changed all the time in real time. next day there may have been 2 seats filled since the last time you looked, Seats on other flights to that city pair before or after that flight may have been sold / unsold that changes the dynamic of faring on that flight.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,680 posts, read 16,098,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
Interesting.
I was searching flights for approximately a month ahead, selected one but didn't complete.
The next day I decided to go ahead with it and it was $7 more, not less.
There are more economy fare classes than just deep discount and fully refundable; Delta's web site lists 13 of them. On each flight, a certain number of tickets get assigned to each fare class, and once everything in a cheaper fare class is sold out, the system moves on to the next cheapest 'fare bucket' when you search for it. In that one day, the T fares for the flight could have sold out, and the system next tries to move you to L or K fare buckets when you ask for cheapest routing.

The airline's computer programmers and operations research people have spent decades trying to maximum revenue, and you have a system tweaked so that a route generates the highest dollar amount, which isn't always the same as the highest passenger count.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,228,275 times
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Don't buy tickets until 1 month to two weeks out for a domestic flight, that's when the best deals are out .. unless it's not the best deal.

You never know when a discount ticket is going to be released, but from what I see prices are more expensive and then get cheaper and then get more expensive exponentially.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,958 posts, read 22,109,113 times
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I really, really appreciate all of the good information I'm getting. Thank you everybody!
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:48 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,583,712 times
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There is no magic bullet here. best thing to do is keep an eye and buy when the price is what you are comfortable with and don't look back.

As inventory shrinks when you get closer, the laws of supply and demand kick in and prices go up. On the flip side, if seats aren't selling as well as the carriers expected, they will reduce the price.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:50 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,583,712 times
Reputation: 13019
Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
Don't buy tickets until 1 month to two weeks out for a domestic flight, that's when the best deals are out .. unless it's not the best deal.

You never know when a discount ticket is going to be released, but from what I see prices are more expensive and then get cheaper and then get more expensive exponentially.
That's not a good tactic to Florida in the winter when you and thousands of others NEED to get there for a cruise.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:51 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,583,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottawa2011 View Post
Buying a ticket so that you fly in the middle of the week might get you a slightly lower ticket price.
This is true. Usually flying on Monday evening, Tuesday or Wednesday, or something Thursday morning will net you the best prices. You have to weight that difference in cost against the added hotel rooms and meals, plus time from work.
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