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Old 04-09-2017, 12:23 PM   #21
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My problem is that my oldest car is also my only car. Oh well, the best laid plans.....
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Old 04-11-2017, 02:14 PM   #22
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Hmmm - noon on a Tuesday, I get another price change alert. Prices have dropped again - about 30 days from flight. Now $10 lower than when I started!

If prices are going to drop, Tuesday is usually when I expect them to drop, but sometimes Wednesday.

Sometimes you can get the best price between 30 and 22 days out, but only if the planes are not already getting full. They often do get full by day 21 when the lowest fares disappear even if the plane is not full.

All airlines are in lock step on pricing - well, actually, it looks like AA dropped most of the way yesterday, but they all synced today:
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:00 PM   #23
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When I was attempting to track airline pricing over time, I realized that sometimes there was a low fare that would show as a plot point, but upon investigation, it was an horrific itinerary that no one in their right mind would accept. I'm talking about something that might take 6 hours non-stop that was taking 36 hours or something. I vaguely recall trying to "change the query" so those didn't show up, and that worked when I was online, but didn't work when I asked for the daily pricing tracking.

Is the route you're pricing limited to non-stop, so you're comparing apples to apples flights and not some mild torture (as all airline flights are) with extreme torture?
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:17 PM   #24
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When I was attempting to track airline pricing over time, I realized that sometimes there was a low fare that would show as a plot point, but upon investigation, it was an horrific itinerary that no one in their right mind would accept. I'm talking about something that might take 6 hours non-stop that was taking 36 hours or something. I vaguely recall trying to "change the query" so those didn't show up, and that worked when I was online, but didn't work when I asked for the daily pricing tracking.

Is the route you're pricing limited to non-stop, so you're comparing apples to apples flights and not some mild torture (as all airline flights are) with extreme torture?
I'm tracking 4 selected itineraries, with times I would actually use. All are 1-stop and I'm mainly comparing same times, different days. At the moment, all flights with the same dates have the same price, and neighboring dates have the same price.

In the past, I have seen the cheapest prices only for the earliest or latest flights of the day, but that is not true at the moment.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:24 AM   #25
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Interesting - at midnight this morning I got an email from Google Flights warning me of a 45% fare increase to $521 expected in 23 hours on one of my tracked flights. It's the blue one below, currently at $348. In the meantime you can see there have been several crazy price fluctuations over the past 8 to 10 days.

So we'll see if their prediction comes true!
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:17 AM   #26
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Yesterday I bought two round trip tickets for a nonstop cross country flight to visit our son, DIL and grandson. Prices seemed unchanged over the few days I looked, so I just booked it. Treated ourselves to First Class since the last time we did this resulted in a major back ache. Nice to have options, but the price wasn't as bad as I expected.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:18 AM   #27
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Interesting - at midnight this morning I got an email from Google Flights warning me of a 45% fare increase to $521 expected in 23 hours on one of my tracked flights. It's the blue one below, currently at $348. In the meantime you can see there have been several crazy price fluctuations over the past 8 to 10 days.

So we'll see if their prediction comes true!
Well sure enough, E-mail at 5:30 this morning informed me that prices on all UA flights jumped to $521, and $513 on the AA flight.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:21 AM   #28
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Interesting - at midnight this morning I got an email from Google Flights warning me of a 45% fare increase to $521 expected in 23 hours on one of my tracked flights. It's the blue one below, currently at $348. In the meantime you can see there have been several crazy price fluctuations over the past 8 to 10 days.
I'd like to know the underlying reasons why the pricing for air fares varies so dramatically and frequently. Obviously, the airlines have determined that doing it this way results in higher margins for them, but still... why would that be? I can't think of any other widely purchased commodity or service that has such frequent, enormous, seemingly random price swings. Anyone have any insights into why this chaotic pricing model is used by the airlines?
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:23 AM   #29
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Well sure enough, E-mail at 5:30 this morning informed me that prices on all UA flights jumped to $521, and $513 on the AA flight.
So doesn't that put the prices inside the 21 days window, could that be what google flights was basing the increase notification on?
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:27 AM   #30
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So doesn't that put the prices inside the 21 days window, could that be what google flights was basing the increase notification on?
Yes, but it happened at the 18 day mark, not the 21 day mark which really surprised me. I expected this jump several days ago.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:36 AM   #31
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Yes, but it happened at the 18 day mark, not the 21 day mark which really surprised me. I expected this jump several days ago.
and sometimes it's the 14 day mark, but to safe I always try and buy before 21 days out just in case.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:43 AM   #32
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and sometimes it's the 14 day mark, but to safe I always try and buy before 21 days out just in case.
Oh same here! I usually buy around the 30 day mark - especially if the flights look like they are filling up which means the bargain seats will disappear sooner than 21 days. This time the price went up for about a week right after I purchased, then dropped to $10 below where I bought for a few days - well see-sawed up and down like crazy.

Oh, there's often another price jump up at the 14 day mark.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:59 AM   #33
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I'd like to know the underlying reasons why the pricing for air fares varies so dramatically and frequently. Obviously, the airlines have determined that doing it this way results in higher margins for them, but still... why would that be? I can't think of any other widely purchased commodity or service that has such frequent, enormous, seemingly random price swings. Anyone have any insights into why this chaotic pricing model is used by the airlines?

Because once the plane takes off with an empty seat you lost money....

They need to do everything they can to fill up the plane... and discounting tickets is an easy way to do that....

You also might ask.... what about business travelers who book late.... well, since they are paying full price it is easier to kick a cheap ticket off and put them on... There was one time I had to fly between Houston and Dallas... booked a ticket that was taking off in less than 2 hours... (IIRC, it was about 1 hour... this before all the new security measures)... got to the airport and was put on the plane...


BTW, there is a minimum cost of flying someone even if the plane is going... you need extra fuel and drinks etc..... I just do not know what it is....
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:14 AM   #34
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Because once the plane takes off with an empty seat you lost money....

They need to do everything they can to fill up the plane... and discounting tickets is an easy way to do that....

You also might ask.... what about business travelers who book late.... well, since they are paying full price it is easier to kick a cheap ticket off and put them on... There was one time I had to fly between Houston and Dallas... booked a ticket that was taking off in less than 2 hours... (IIRC, it was about 1 hour... this before all the new security measures)... got to the airport and was put on the plane...

BTW, there is a minimum cost of flying someone even if the plane is going... you need extra fuel and drinks etc..... I just do not know what it is....
OK, that makes sense to a degree, but why wouldn't basically the same principles apply to pricing for hotel rooms? Once the night passes and a hotel room sits empty, the hotel lost money (well, didn't make the optimum amount). Yet I don't think prices for hotel rooms vary so dramatically and frequently and chaotically as do flight prices. Or am I missing something in this analogy that makes it flawed somehow?
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:26 AM   #35
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Yet I don't think prices for hotel rooms vary so dramatically and frequently and chaotically as do flight prices. Or am I missing something in this analogy that makes it flawed somehow?
All the airlines use databases that analyze travel patterns and seats sold. As seats are purchased/cancelled, they adjust the fare classes, that results in pricing changes.

They try to match pricing to demand, while watching what the competition is doing. What this has done short-term is cause pricing fluctuations. Long-term it has driven some carriers into bankruptcy.

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Old 04-21-2017, 10:48 AM   #36
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OK, that makes sense to a degree, but why wouldn't basically the same principles apply to pricing for hotel rooms? Once the night passes and a hotel room sits empty, the hotel lost money (well, didn't make the optimum amount). Yet I don't think prices for hotel rooms vary so dramatically and frequently and chaotically as do flight prices. Or am I missing something in this analogy that makes it flawed somehow?
There are some differences. They can choose or not to fly a plane. The hotel sits there 24 hours. Obviously the industries have come up with different pricing schemes. Perhaps the hotel overhead is not nearly as high as the airline.
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:58 AM   #37
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OK, that makes sense to a degree, but why wouldn't basically the same principles apply to pricing for hotel rooms? Once the night passes and a hotel room sits empty, the hotel lost money (well, didn't make the optimum amount). Yet I don't think prices for hotel rooms vary so dramatically and frequently and chaotically as do flight prices. Or am I missing something in this analogy that makes it flawed somehow?

Hotels will change prices.... based on the season and demand... take a look at prices of hotel when a super bowl or other major event comes to town... but, they just do not try and fill them up all the time... from what I read, they have priced to make money at 80% capacity.... also, people are much more likely to wait to the bitter end for a hotel as it is MUCH easier to go next door, where flights are not as numerous.... if you miss a flight you are SOL, but 'miss' a hotel there are still lots of options...

It has not happened recently, but I used to get a break on some hotels when I showed up at night asking about a room... I would usually get a price and be able to talk them down a bit... because I was willing to walk out the door.... now, with DW and kids we have to book a room before we even go so I do not know if they will deal or not now....
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:28 AM   #38
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I'd like to know the underlying reasons why the pricing for air fares varies so dramatically and frequently. Obviously, the airlines have determined that doing it this way results in higher margins for them, but still... why would that be? I can't think of any other widely purchased commodity or service that has such frequent, enormous, seemingly random price swings. Anyone have any insights into why this chaotic pricing model is used by the airlines?
It is very much like the hotel business where the business estimates the demand and figures out what costs the demand will bear, and also how many seats to hold for late full fare customers. (The most desirable customers)
As an example I was checking on motels about a month out and found a difference of 100 per night between 1 weekend and the next one (neither was explicitly a holiday weekend)
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