Flight Prices Flying Up and Down

Travel Forums General Talk Flight Prices Flying Up and Down

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Last Post This thread is marked as being about Africa
1. Posted by SpailpinFanach (Budding Member 12 posts) 34w Star this if you like it!

Not sure where to post this, so trying here.

I'm going away for a 3 month trip to Africa at the end of the year.

I searched on Google Flights and SkyScanner for trips on my preferred dated: Dublin to Nairobi on 23 Nov 2019 and Jo'burg to Dublin 28 Feb 2020. I ticked box offering to notify me of changes to prices. Whenever the price changes, I get an email.

However, I can't see any pattern in the changes; they seem to rise and descend as often as a RyanAir plane. I have seen prices on my preferred flight to Nairobi by Turkish Airlines change from as little as €336 to, recently, €465. This makes no sense to me.

Can any wise heads amongst you advise me when would be a good time to book my flight. s there any formula to work out when is the cheapest time to buy. Naturally, I want to save as much money as possible.

Thanks folks

[ Edit: Edited on 26-May-2019, at 10:45 by SpailpinFanach ]

2. Posted by BeateR (Full Member 180 posts) 34w Star this if you like it!

I always would book via the airline directly. If you use a platform and something goes wrong, nobody will take care and everybody will blame the other for it.

Prices go up and down very often. So you have to look it up and if the price is right for you, than book and never look at the price again


3. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 399 posts) 34w Star this if you like it!

Not certain you are meant to see a clear pattern...

The price changes for many reasons - popularity of the route with tourists, business travellers (or both) bank holiday times in your country of departure, national holidays/special events in the country of arrival, day of the week, etc. Of course, many of these reasons are not always in flux,like annual events and festivals and bank holidays.

Airlines may look at the historical fares for a route and date and base their prices on that and use that as a starting point, adjusting the price based on how seats are selling from one day to the next - countless algorithms at play here.

If a clear rhyme or reason to price could be predicted, that would be great for the consumer and bad for the bottom line of the carrier.

It generally is best practice to book sooner instead of later. Many folks (like BeateR) say do not look at the price after you book to spare yourself any agro, but I like to torture myself by either seeing a lower price than what I paid or, in some cases, rejoicing when I see a higher price than what I booked the flight at.

I've had mixed success booking at the last minute. Seats will be sold (sometimes) at a huge loss to the carrier because doing so costs less to the airline than an unsold seat. This, however, is not a viable way of trying to score a good deal - in my case it was by chance rather than choice to book last minute, but it has worked on some occasions. It is not something I would tell you to do, though.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-May-2019, at 13:01 by road to roam ]

4. Posted by SpailpinFanach (Budding Member 12 posts) 34w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for this. Sounds like good advice. I'll book well in advance.

5. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 225 posts) 33w Star this if you like it!

This is a very complex question and I'm afraid can not be explained over a forum to the extent that would make non-revenue/non airline industry person any sense. I am working in this area (revenue management in an airline industry) so my view on this is very different from a regular customer.

High level tip...
-I have been keeping an eye on fares from DUB to JNB for some time now (over a year actually).
-all specials are around €335-€350 mark.
-prices do change, but nothing really much lower than this.
-if layover time is reasonable and you can get the above price I would suggest to book it.
-if the price is much higher, but you are flexible with your dates then go for alternatives.
-if you are fixed with your dates then it's that bit different and more complex to advise if to book it or not (unless you can get above prices).

I hope this helps!

Post 6 was removed by a moderator
7. Posted by Guru123 (Budding Member 2 posts) 32w Star this if you like it!

Now a days flight prices are very expensive for the passengers but recently I have been watching few airlines are providing discount to the passengers to attract them. I don't when the flight prices will be low and when it will be rise. When I want to fly to other location and I watch it the flight tickets will be high. When I don't want fly it will low how crazy it is.

Do any body know how to book flights with cheap rates?

8. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1396 posts) 32w Star this if you like it!

Back in the 90s there was a website called Travelocity. (And I also used the AA site Sabre) I would book a flight to (as an example) St Thomas USVI at a reasonable price (which I remember as being $500 RT) and then if the price dropped more than $200 for the flight I would re-book at the new price. (In those days the change fee was only $100). Sometimes I could see a pattern, but I didn't worry about the pattern, I just watched the prices to see if it would pay me to re-book. So if the price dropped from $500 to $250, I would rebook (quickly as the new price didn't last long).

Since I lived about 5 miles from the airport, I would go in person, usually on Sunday morning about 10 as there were not many/any flights at that time. One time I went in with an unused ticket to re-book, some coupons from a coupon book, and a ticket I got as a freebie for being bumped on an oversold flight to rebook a round trip. It was so confusing that I ended up with a flight from BWI to MIA that was only $14.00 When I got home, I figured out what had gone wrong (one of the coupons was counted twice), and I phoned to correct the mistake, but they said that they couldn't do it. And I think it was really more trouble than it was worth to them.

9. Posted by Xiomnn (Budding Member 3 posts) 30w 1 Star this if you like it!

I would recommend having an idea of what you would consider a rock bottom price, a price you consider is still ok but it's getting away a bit and as soon as it enters your rock bottom tier just buy it otherwise it's a risky game.

For example living in UK. Let's say I want to visit Berlin. To me rock bottom would be £20-35. Medium tier would be £36-50

Basically if it is in medium I'll more likely wait to see if it enters rock bottom tier.

If it enters rock bottom tier the chances of it going down even further are most slim, but the chance of it getting higher are at its most.

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Jun-2019, at 17:38 by Xiomnn ]

10. Posted by Dymphna (Full Member 200 posts) 30w Star this if you like it!

I have heard it can be your cookies. If they see you look at the same flight twice, the price can change because they know you are watching. Clear your cookies before searching.