Lowest airfares found six weeks before flight, study says

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Jan 23, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-0123-travel-briefcase-20120123,0,5179643.story

    An Airlines Reporting Corp. study finds that passengers pay the lowest price, nearly 6% below the overall average fare, if they buy six weeks before their flight.
    Even when buying airline tickets, timing is everything.

    Passengers can get the lowest airfares if they buy six weeks before their flight, according to a study by Airlines Reporting Corp., an Arlington, Va., company that handles ticketing transactions between the nation's airlines and travel agents.

    The study looked at millions of transactions for airline tickets over the last four years and found that passengers pay the lowest price, nearly 6% below the overall average fare, if they buy six weeks before their flight.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-0123-travel-briefcase-20120123,0,5179643.story
     
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  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Good to know!
     
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  3. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    I'm surprised the reporter didn't go into day of the week and time of the day type issues. I've found --- and there shouldn't be anyone an this forum who doesn't realize -- that for trips, I can plan well in advance it can make a big difference.

    Of course, I'm not a lazy newspaper reporter !

    DTWBOB
     
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I assume that this applies primarily when one is looking for the lowest coach fare, not an upgradeable fare and confirmed upgrade. Also, one does not see much variation in full fares except when there is an across the board increase.
     
  5. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    I would agree. This sounds like it would apply to best price period.
     
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  6. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    Interesting stat, good article!
    The point made about wifi is also pretty crazy. Who would ever think it could generate $1.5 billion for the airlines in the future.
     
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  7. TheTravelAbstract

    TheTravelAbstract Silver Member

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    That is so economist of you to say that. ;)

    That Wi-Fi stat is good news for airlines and flyers alike. We always knew they needed to increase ancillary revenue or else we would face higher ticket prices.From biz passengers alone this should help them a bunch. I just wonder how much regular passengers would be willing to fork over the fee.
     
  8. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    Nice find. I have analyzed several of my tickets in the past 1 year that I have purchased in advance. Only less the half of them were bought 6 weeks before in order to get a better price.
     
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  9. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    I've never paid for wifi on a flight. I guess if I was on a long flight and the fee seemed reasonable I would consider paying for it.
     
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  10. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    I'll pre-pay for a daypass on DL (cheaper sometimes, by 10-20%) on one of my cross-country jaunts. Even more if I'm doing a long routing (like EWR-ATL-SLC-BUR). One thing I'll say about DL, they sure do have a lot of internet-enabled planes.
     
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  11. MSPeconomist
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    I had heard that the good day passes had been discontinued by GoGo.
     
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  12. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I have kept track of fares i have paid for the last five years, GIG-everywhere. I almsot always buy either C or F, with the odd Y upgrade from time to time. According to my handy Excel analysis the following patterns are evident:

    GIG-FRA C and F fares average 48% lower when book more than one month in advance on tuesday-thursday. That is 11 flights LH and 8 JJ
    GIG-MIA/JFK C fares. Average 27% cheaper when booked on tue-thu, non-Brazil holiday times (US holidays make no difference) more than one month in advance, less than two months in advance. JJ and AA, same pattern.
    GIG-CLT minimal difference, always teh cheapest of all routes, usually at least 50% cheaper than any other route: US only, their only southern-LA route.
    GIG-ATL minimal difference, usually the most expensive of all carriers. DL only.
    GIG-MAD weekdays, no-Brazil, non-Spanish holidays average 40% cheaper. IB and JJ
    GIG-LHR minimal difference by days, some by flight. BA has two flights per day, and the later flight averages 10% more expensive. I have not been on this route during the last year, so things may have changes.
    GIG-CDG holidays and day of week are not highly variable. On AF the 777 is more expensive than the A330 by typically 15% (777 connections are easier at CDG). Fares are 50% higher in C during the days leading up to either French or Brazil holidays. I have four data points pre-post-Carnival when fares were double (100%) higher in C. We went anyway.

    In short, at least with GIG origination it seems fares in C and F are as variable as are the Y fares.

    Example from this year:
    I have two AA C bookings right now:
    One GIG-SFO-GIG, is in March for $3918
    One GIG-AUS-GIG is in mid February as carnival begins. Carnival is 18-25 February. That one is $9325.
    Usually the two destinations, both of which are frequent for me, as about the same price.
    Just for an example Expert Flyer shows oneway Business Class fares GIG-JFK ranging from $1262 to $5755.
     
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  13. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    The main reason I'd book tix farther in advance is when it's for peak travel periods (Thanksgiving, Christmas, late July/August to/from Europe) and I want a decent seat.

    :)
     
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