Airline Employee Explains How Fares Are Really Decided

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    Feb 26, 2014 8:59 PM GMT
    http://www.businessinsider.com/airline-employee-explains-how-fares-are-decided-2014-2

    Why is it that sometimes I can wait until the last minute and find a cheap fare, but other times the fare goes up?

    Well, most of the time the fare will go up because the flight will be filling up or the advance purchase restrictions will be kicking in. But on routes with significant competition -- New York to Los Angeles for example -- airlines may have sales or "dump seats" at the last minute to fill the plane if it's not particularly full. It also depends on the day of the week. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are often the cheapest days to fly because we carry fewer business passengers those days.
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    Feb 27, 2014 6:24 AM GMT
    Yes. This also applies in the hotel industry. Rates vary from day to day depending generally upon occupancy. Factors to consider are events where many people are expected to attend. Examples include football game weekends, marathons, conventions, music concerts, visits by high profile individuals, certain holidays, etc. In America, college football is a huge one for us. Prices for those will skyrocket industry wide. Just like Thanksgiving prices skyrocket in the airline industry. People are so determined to go, and they're just ultimately willing to pay those prices.
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    Feb 27, 2014 2:37 PM GMT
    Scotticvs saidYes. This also applies in the hotel industry. Rates vary from day to day depending generally upon occupancy. Factors to consider are events where many people are expected to attend. Examples include football game weekends, marathons, conventions, music concerts, visits by high profile individuals, certain holidays, etc. In America, college football is a huge one for us. Prices for those will skyrocket industry wide. Just like Thanksgiving prices skyrocket in the airline industry. People are so determined to go, and they're just ultimately willing to pay those prices.


    Yeah that part wasn't a surprise... I always seem to forget though what the best days to travel are (ie cheapest tickets) - what is helpful now though is services like
    http://www.kayak.com/price-trend-explanation
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    Feb 28, 2014 12:15 PM GMT
    What you have to remember is the airlines have 25 years of computer data on flights - a while back the Wall St Journal did a fascinating article on one flight and how the computer told them how many seats to OVERsell as 5 passengers statisically wouldn't show who had tickets. Sure enough, at pushback, 5 pax were MIA and they had oversold by 7 and 2 had vouchers in hand.