You see a cheap airfare ad, take some time to decide when to book it when suddenly, the fare hikes up by almost 50 percent. If you are wondering about the best time to purchase airfare tickets, the answer is very simple. Just buy it as soon as possible. The famous cliché, “The most constant thing is change,” also seems to apply to airline fares. Here are some of the factors that affect the availability and price of airfares.
Competition among airline companies drives the cost of airfares down. An airline company typically launches different promotions like a reduction of its published airfare to match with the competition. This allows it to maintain and/or acquire a sufficient market share in the industry. In the same way, an airline may stop flying/ servicing a particular route due to its unprofitable circumstances, thus allowing the remaining airline company to maximize its profit by increasing its airfare rates.
In airfare purchases, there are only two types of customers: the early planners and the last-minute shoppers. Early planners are those who check the web often. These are people who hope that booking a flight way early will give them access to cheaper fares.
On the other hand, last-minute customers are those people who, for some reasons, book flights near their travel date. As a result, they usually end up purchasing whatever is available. This is one of the reasons why rates of air tickets spike within a few days of a flight.
Destination and Seasonality
Businesses, particularly airline companies, maximize their profit based on the popularity, seasonality, and demand for a specific destination. The same law of supply and demand applies. If the number of an airline seat is limited and the demand or number of customers exceeds this availability, the airfare will probably be higher. Consequently, popularity and seasonality will also have an effect on the airfares rates.
If you are wondering why that cheap airfare you saw earlier has increased, despite it being for the same flight, here’s the explanation.
The seats on an airplane are not all priced in the same way. For instance, a certain aircraft has a 200-seating capacity; 80 of these will be priced at $50 each; the next 50 will be priced at $30 and the remaining 70 seats will be sold at $40 each. If you happen to see a slot left for a $30 seat and decided to purchase it the next day, you may be surprised to find out that it has already been bought and that the only seat available is at the $40 rate.
Just remember all these factors the next time you want to look for a cozy and affordable plane opening.