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Southwest Fare Games?
Old 10-05-2016, 12:30 PM   #1
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Southwest Fare Games?

I booked a Christmas time flight last Monday but had a conflict come up, so I canceled the flight a few hours later (their policy is a refund within 24 hours, credit after 24 hours). The conflict cleared itself , so I went to re-book today, Wednesday, and the price was up 25%!

I don't know if they are playing cookie games with me or if prices really jump this much day to day.

Suggested strategy?
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:14 PM   #2
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Southwest has a big 72 hour sale going on--for before Christmas and thru March, 2017--but excluding the holiday season. Flights start at $49 and go up to $129 per leg within the U.S.

I guess they're going to offset the low fares by increasing the high demand days at the end of the year.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:52 PM   #3
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they have a sale - I got tix to denver last week and now they are $50 cheaper
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:00 PM   #4
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Just about all the airlines continuously track load factors , days until the flight and adjust prices, sometimes in just minutes. it's S.O.P.
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:03 PM   #5
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Prices definitely jump all over the place. I booked DD's Christmas flights last week. Her flight in (American) was ~$300. Today I got a notification that they changed her connecting flight to arrive 2 hours later. I had planned something for the late afternoon, so I checked to see if there were any better options that I could ask them to switch her to since they changed the flight. Found out that a) there was no better connection and b) the price of her flight was now over $400.
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:40 PM   #6
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A lot of the time it can work to your benefit. I had a RT flight scheduled for January using points. Received the SW notice for discounted $49 fairs so went and checked and was able to change my flight for 25% fewer points.
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Old 10-05-2016, 04:27 PM   #7
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I decided to suck it up and rebuy at the higher price. SW allows one to change reservations for free, so I can watch and get a credit if the price goes down. Looking at other airlines, none were cheaper for reasonable flight times and durations, especially given SW's free luggage policy. I did delete my cookies and checked prices, but found no differences. My conclusion is that prices just jump around that much.


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Old 10-05-2016, 05:49 PM   #8
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After all, prices are products of supply and demand. And airline industry analysts are very good at what they do.

At least what I like about Southwest is that non-stop flights are so often available wherever I want to fly.
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:22 PM   #9
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Christmas is always busy and people are booking flights. What's new?
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:51 PM   #10
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After all, prices are products of supply and demand. And airline industry analysts are very good at what they do.
.................
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Originally Posted by RobbieB View Post
Christmas is always busy and people are booking flights. What's new?
I was surprised that the price jumped 25% inside of about 24 hours. Now I'm as smart as you guys!
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:39 PM   #11
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I decided to suck it up and rebuy at the higher price. SW allows one to change reservations for free, so I can watch and get a credit if the price goes down. Looking at other airlines, none were cheaper for reasonable flight times and durations, especially given SW's free luggage policy. I did delete my cookies and checked prices, but found no differences. My conclusion is that prices just jump around that much.


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I had a brother and sister that worked for different companies that dealt with airline pricing...

Both said that prices change many times a day... they use sophisticated algorithms to get max money out of people... so sometimes when they say there are 2 seats left at this price they really mean it...



Was it in the same category IIRC, SW has 3 or so main types of tickets and the price difference can be huge....
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:43 AM   #12
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............
Was it in the same category IIRC, SW has 3 or so main types of tickets and the price difference can be huge....
It was the cheapest, nonrefundable fares.

I clawed back $25 today by re-booking the same flights. I'll check every day until the cheap fares are sold out. It is nice to be retired.
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
I had a brother and sister that worked for different companies that dealt with airline pricing...

Both said that prices change many times a day... they use sophisticated algorithms to get max money out of people... so sometimes when they say there are 2 seats left at this price they really mean it...
I travel a lot for work. Even when half a dozen of us travel together on the same itinerary, each individual reservation winds up costing a different amount.
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Old 10-06-2016, 09:13 PM   #14
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I travel a lot for work. Even when half a dozen of us travel together on the same itinerary, each individual reservation winds up costing a different amount.
Do you work for a mega If so, I am surprised... my mega had a fixed rate for almost all trips... heck, they had their own website (powered by someone who does this for many megas).... so the trip price was the same for almost any trip you took.... if you actually took a trip that was not in their standard price you had to get a manager to sign off...
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Old 10-06-2016, 09:59 PM   #15
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Supposedly prices are cheapest Tuesday afternoon but I did not really notice any difference in prices from Monday to Tuesday when I made my SWA reservation for Thanksgiving travel. However I just checked and the cost has now gone up from $300 to $360 or about 20%. My biggest concern was getting a non-stop flight at a good time before they sold out, not so much the cost.
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Old 10-07-2016, 04:41 AM   #16
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Southwest's 72 hour sale is now over. Back to regular prices--earlier the better.
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:40 AM   #17
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Update

By checking a couple times a day for the last two days, I've been able to claw back all but about $30 - well worth my time. I'll continue to monitor - who knows, I may end up even saving money over the original price.
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Old 10-08-2016, 01:45 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I booked a Christmas time flight last Monday but had a conflict come up, so I canceled the flight a few hours later (their policy is a refund within 24 hours, credit after 24 hours). The conflict cleared itself , so I went to re-book today, Wednesday, and the price was up 25%!

I don't know if they are playing cookie games with me or if prices really jump this much day to day.

Suggested strategy?
I wouldn't get much upset about 25% of $50 - $12.50.
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Old 10-08-2016, 02:43 PM   #19
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It helps to clear your browser cookies after looking at an airline's website. That way, when you go back in they don't know you have been there before and won't remember the price they quoted the first time.
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Old 10-08-2016, 03:08 PM   #20
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I wouldn't get much upset about 25% of $50 - $12.50.
No, it was actually 29% of $980 - about $300
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