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family friend Jul 14, 09 10:55 am

Question about Fare Class Availability
 
Hello All,
I am looking at a flight from SFO-JFK, a red eye on August the 2nd. This would be approximately two and a half weeks from today. There are currently 45 free seats on the plane yet I checked the fare class availability and found
F5 A2 J7 D7 I7 Y7 B7 H7 L7 K7 M7 W7 V6 G0 S0 N0 O0 Q0
Would anyone have an idea if G, S, N, O or Q availability would typically increase given the open seats and the timeframe? Many thanks.

millionmiler Jul 14, 09 11:02 am

No. Just the opposite. Once those classes are gone they are typically gone for good. Further, the other more expensive fare classes will begin to disappear as well.

family friend Jul 14, 09 11:15 am


Originally Posted by millionmiler (Post 12064572)
No. Just the opposite. Once those classes are gone they are typically gone for good. Further, the other more expensive fare classes will begin to disappear as well.

I did see some G class seats appear a few days ago but was too slow to purchase. V class seems to go up and down freely. But it does not seem that cheap classes will be available even given the 40+ free seats?

ijgordon Jul 14, 09 11:23 am


Originally Posted by millionmiler (Post 12064572)
No. Just the opposite. Once those classes are gone they are typically gone for good. Further, the other more expensive fare classes will begin to disappear as well.

Absolutely not true. Fare classes come and go like the wind. If the pace of sales at the higher fares slows, then they will release lower fare classes. Of course you risk missing advance purchase requirements if you wait too long. The lowest domestic fares usually require 21-day advance purchase.

family friend Jul 14, 09 11:28 am


Originally Posted by ijgordon (Post 12064691)
Absolutely not true. Fare classes come and go like the wind. If the pace of sales at the higher fares slows, then they will release lower fare classes. Of course you risk missing advance purchase requirements if you wait too long. The lowest domestic fares usually require 21-day advance purchase.

Looking at the fare rules I see 21 day advance purchase requirement for many classes. I am hoping only that G class opens up at a savings of $50 per ticket and that does not have a 21 day advance purchase requirement. Thank you for the helpful information and counterpoint. Do others believe that fare class availability may shift?

ijgordon Jul 14, 09 11:28 am


Originally Posted by family friend (Post 12064634)
But it does not seem that cheap classes will be available even given the 40+ free seats?

You have no idea how many unsold seats are on that flight. Particularly in coach, the seat map is not a reliable indicator of loads. Some seats are blocked for airport control and believe it or not, some people don't get advance seat assignments.

Further, you have no idea what the historical buying pattern is for coach seats on this particular flight; AA does. It could very well be that they expect to sell a significant number of seats at high fares closer to departure. If they don't, then they'll release additional deep-discount inventory, but again, be aware of advance purchase requirements. Although actually on this specific route the most restrictive is a 14-day advance purchase, and it looks like until you hit the 10 day mark you should still be able to book inexpensive fares subject to availability.

denCSA Jul 14, 09 11:30 am

You could also wait until after the midnight mark to see if any seats open up as those pax with held reservations get released

Efrem Jul 14, 09 11:33 am

How do you know there are 45 seats left on the plane? Seat maps show how many seats are unassigned, but say nothing about ticketed passengers who don't have assigned seats yet. You can't add seat availability in all the fare classes because those are the same seats, just available at different fares with different terms and conditions. (Also, EF and other consumer booking engines never show more than 7 seats available, for technical reasons involving multi-user access to the underlying database.)

In any case, fares tend to go up in the two or so weeks before a flight because people who fly on such short notice typically don't have much choice. They have to fly at almost any price. Those who plan further ahead generally have more options, so airlines have to offer lower fares to get them.

gemac Jul 14, 09 12:03 pm


Originally Posted by family friend (Post 12064634)
But it does not seem that cheap classes will be available even given the 40+ free seats?

You do not understand what the information you are looking at says. You appear to think that Y7 B7 H7 L7 K7 M7 W7 V6 G0 S0 N0 O0 Q0 means that there are 55 coach seats available. These numbers are not additive. They mean that AA will sell at least 7 seats with Y fare code, and at least 7 with B fare code, but those are the same seats. In addition, AA will sell those seats with H, L, K, M or W fare code. AA will sell only 6 of these same seats with V fare code. The number shown is never higher than 7 - seven means 7 or more - but all you know for sure from this information is that at least 7 coach seats can be sold. This doesn't even tell you that there are 7 seats left in coach, AA often overbooks flights.

Given the V6 availability, it is likely that Y is not really 7 but some number somewhat greater, but how much greater is anybody's guess.

AA starts by making full-fare and discount economy available. Depending on sales, deep discount economy normally comes on-stream about 90 days out, with the deepest discount buckets opening up about 60 days out. From that point forward, it tightens up in reverse order, with the deepest discount buckets disappearing first. For an August 2 flight, chances of the lowest fare going up are much, much greater than it going down, and I would suggest if you have to have this flight that you jump on it immediately.

family friend Jul 14, 09 12:25 pm


Originally Posted by ijgordon (Post 12064725)
You have no idea how many unsold seats are on that flight. Particularly in coach, the seat map is not a reliable indicator of loads. Some seats are blocked for airport control and believe it or not, some people don't get advance seat assignments.

Further, you have no idea what the historical buying pattern is for coach seats on this particular flight; AA does. It could very well be that they expect to sell a significant number of seats at high fares closer to departure. If they don't, then they'll release additional deep-discount inventory, but again, be aware of advance purchase requirements. Although actually on this specific route the most restrictive is a 14-day advance purchase, and it looks like until you hit the 10 day mark you should still be able to book inexpensive fares subject to availability.

I am sorry sir but I do know how many unsold seats are on that flight. I never said I used or relied upon the seatmap. There are other methods to finding out this information.
And yes, I do not know the historical buying patterns, that is at the center of what I am trying to figure out from everyone here, basically if anyone has experience. Thank you very much for your helpful information.

family friend Jul 14, 09 12:28 pm


Originally Posted by Efrem (Post 12064757)
How do you know there are 45 seats left on the plane? Seat maps show how many seats are unassigned, but say nothing about ticketed passengers who don't have assigned seats yet. You can't add seat availability in all the fare classes because those are the same seats, just available at different fares with different terms and conditions. (Also, EF and other consumer booking engines never show more than 7 seats available, for technical reasons involving multi-user access to the underlying database.)

In any case, fares tend to go up in the two or so weeks before a flight because people who fly on such short notice typically don't have much choice. They have to fly at almost any price. Those who plan further ahead generally have more options, so airlines have to offer lower fares to get them.

I simply asked an AA employee and they informed me how many seats were on the plane and how many were booked (that number may have changed). I am aware of the limitations of EF and seatmaps, that is why my question fell oustide the purview of both databases and I turned to anecdotal rather than statistical means of arriving at a conclusion.

family friend Jul 14, 09 12:30 pm


Originally Posted by gemac (Post 12064941)
You do not understand what the information you are looking at says. You appear to think that Y7 B7 H7 L7 K7 M7 W7 V6 G0 S0 N0 O0 Q0 means that there are 55 coach seats available.
For an August 2 flight, chances of the lowest fare going up are much, much greater than it going down, and I would suggest if you have to have this flight that you jump on it immediately.

No, I do not think that those numbers are additive.
Thank you for the advice, I do believe that is precisely the type of information for which I am searching and is generally very helpful. I think the problem is that a few days ago I saw some G class inventory open up and am now hopeful that it would happen again.

family friend Jul 14, 09 12:31 pm

And it appears that I made a mistake in adding only the available coach and business seats, disregarding first class. My apologies.

Blumie Jul 14, 09 12:36 pm


Originally Posted by family friend (Post 12065070)
I am sorry sir but I do know how many unsold seats are on that flight. I never said I used or relied upon the seatmap. There are other methods to finding out this information.
And yes, I do not know the historical buying patterns, that is at the center of what I am trying to figure out from everyone here, basically if anyone has experience. Thank you very much for your helpful information.


Originally Posted by family friend (Post 12065095)
I simply asked an AA employee and they informed me how many seats were on the plane and how many were booked (that number may have changed). I am aware of the limitations of EF and seatmaps, that is why my question fell oustide the purview of both databases and I turned to anecdotal rather than statistical means of arriving at a conclusion.


Originally Posted by family friend (Post 12065108)
No, I do not think that those numbers are additive.
Thank you for the advice, I do believe that is precisely the type of information for which I am searching and is generally very helpful. I think the problem is that a few days ago I saw some G class inventory open up and am now hopeful that it would happen again.


Originally Posted by family friend (Post 12065113)
And it appears that I made a mistake in adding only the available coach and business seats, disregarding first class. My apologies.

You seem to know a lot, but one thing you don't know is how to "muti-quote" on FlyerTalk! :)

family friend Jul 14, 09 12:40 pm


Originally Posted by Blumie (Post 12065140)
You seem to know a lot, but one thing you don't know is how to "muti-quote" on FlyerTalk! :)

You are correct, I have tried to use the multi-quote without any luck. If anyone would be so kind as to PM me with tips it would be much appreciated.


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