SEATTLE, Nov. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Travelers often wonder why the price posted for one seat on an airplane - for example, an aisle seat near an emergency exit that offers extra legroom - changes so much and so unpredictably. FlightHub and JustFly, top online travel companies, help demystify this.
If travelers saw it plotted on a graph, they would notice the price of one seat fluctuates as often as a dozen times, not unlike a stock trading on an exchange. This is because seat prices are often at the mercy of market conditions, as well as other factors.
If a flight seat is like a stock, when is the best time to buy?
When travelers use an online travel agency (OTA) site to assist them in finding deals on flights, they are counting on its process and complex algorithms for amalgamating flight data and prices worldwide. Each one filters and presents the details of this data in its own way.
Low ticket prices for those who book early
Seat sales to popular destinations, like Caribbean resorts, begin months in advance. They're priced low for those who think ahead, so there's nothing wrong with a plan-well-in-advance travel strategy. A think-ahead kind of person can feel confident that the deal they find three months in advance is a reasonable one. Now, they only have to ask for vacation time.
Riding the seat-price roller coaster leading up to the departure date
If travelers miss the initial low promo prices for, let's say, a ticket to L.A., then they will be left to watch the price on flights to the City of Angels on their departure date fluctuate until the plane takes off.
When the first lower-priced group of tickets sells out, the next group goes up in price and so on. Each time a ticket changes, the information passes almost instantaneously to global distribution systems, where it's picked up by travel agents and online travel agents to get to the traveler.
The sweet spot for less-organized flyers
As the date of take-off arrives, travelers can count on prices slowly creeping higher as a flight gradually gets booked. However, it's not unusual for an airline to interject, for any number of promotional reasons, a price drop, somewhere along this timeline.
Last-minute changes in flight prices
When travelers are booking two weeks or just days in advance, their chances of finding a deal are much slimmer, particularly if they are traveling at a rush period like Christmas or summer holidays.
"Crunch time is exactly the time when our online travel agencies, who access all the airlines flying to Montreal, or countless other destinations, on the desired departure day can save travelers hundreds of dollars," states FlightHub and JustFly's Matt Keezer. "Our complex algorithms take care of finding the lowest prices, so all travelers must worry about is what to pack".
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