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Ticket purchase vs. Time vs. Cost?

New Arrival

Is there any such thing as a 'general rule' for airline 'pricing behavior' when it comes to ticket prices?

 

For example:

 

1. If I know I'll travel 2 months from now, is the ticket pricing better now, or in a month from now or there is no advance time vs. ticket price relationship other than way high the week or so before?

 

2. If I have the option to include a weekend or not, is there a ticket price benefit for either condition?

 

Thanks,

 

Mark

2 REPLIES 2

Re: Ticket purchase vs. Time vs. Cost?

Top Contributor
Solution

@Markg2 wrote:

Is there any such thing as a 'general rule' for airline 'pricing behavior' when it comes to ticket prices?

 

For example:

 

1. If I know I'll travel 2 months from now, is the ticket pricing better now, or in a month from now or there is no advance time vs. ticket price relationship other than way high the week or so before?

 

Hello Mark.

 

What you said used to be true for the legacy airlines (Delta, United, American), but not necessarily now. Airlines price tickets at a level they think will sell. So, for example, spring break tickets were priced high, and when it became apparent that some seats would not sell at the higher price, prices fell.

 

A rule of thunb though is that tickets bought within a week or two of departure cost more than those bought earlier. Again, there are exceptions to the rule when seats have not sold.

 

 

2. If I have the option to include a weekend or not, is there a ticket price benefit for either condition?

 

Again, this used to be the rule, but no longer is.

 

Thanks,

 

Mark


 

Re: Ticket purchase vs. Time vs. Cost?

Top Contributor

One more resource for you flying Southwest will be to look at the low-fare calendar - although the low fare may not be at a desirable time - it will give some general idea when WGA fares tend to vanish for a particular route.

 

Southwest flouts a few of the previous rules of thumb:

 

  • One-ways cost the same as round trips for the same legs
  • Weekend stays do not affect your pricing
  • More connections = more price -> offset by direct flights selling faster and being higher becuase of that effect

I once had to change a flight running late to MDW traveling to LAS. I called on the way there to reschedule to the next later flight...not even to Lake Shore Drive yet.

 

The nice lady on the A-list line changed all of our flights, got to the end and said...it looks like we owe you $94, you'll have that as a travel fund. So not every route is jacked up even on the same day, although many do increase in that short-term time horizon.

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.