Do the prices ever drop back down?

Old Apr 10, 21, 7:06 am
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Do the prices ever drop back down?

Do the prices of tickets ever drop back down, short of waiting until you're cutting it too close to be sure you'll get the flight? I was looking to book a ticket for August, checked the price but was on the road, figured August was so far away I could wait 2 days when I would have more time, now the prices have gone up 20% across the board on all of the flights between the two cities on those dates. Any chance of them coming back down, or once they pop do they not stop?
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Old Apr 10, 21, 7:08 am
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They go up and down all the time. Usually in response to supply and demand. There used to be some conventional wisdom around buying at six weeks out, but these days anything is a guess.
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Old Apr 10, 21, 7:27 am
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The 6-8 weeks conventional wisdom is still true.

Take a look at Google flights for your city pairs and you should see the trend: anything more than 21 days from today and up to 6-8 weeks after, is much lower than anything within 21 days, or anything beyond 8 weeks.

Regarding it going up in the last two days: again, not surprising, given *generally speaking* RM opens up/resets lower fare buckets in the middle of the week, and nobody from RM is working weekends, which are arguably the worst time to buy based on the an increasing number of purchasers with the algorithms just raising prices without any resets.
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Old Apr 10, 21, 7:58 am
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Looks like the cheapest flights are 2-4 weeks out and basically everything else is more or less the same fare. The 2-4 weeks is easily explained by ongoing covid restrictions/people who won't travel without vaccination.
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Old Apr 10, 21, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by flyerfirsts View Post
Looks like the cheapest flights are 2-4 weeks out and basically everything else is more or less the same fare. The 2-4 weeks is easily explained by ongoing covid restrictions/people who won't travel without vaccination.
Or easily explained by how RM has worked for years now...that the best fares are a 21 or 30 day advance purchase, because the airlines donít want to give away seats at the last minute (under 21 or 14 days) but want to sell as many seats as possible or leisure travelers to maximize revenue.

Has nothing to do with COVID, leisure travel has rebounded for over a month and fares have returned to normal for months now.
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Old Apr 10, 21, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by btonkid12345 View Post
Or easily explained by how RM has worked for years now...that the best fares are a 21 or 30 day advance purchase, because the airlines don’t want to give away seats at the last minute (under 21 or 14 days) but want to sell as many seats as possible or leisure travelers to maximize revenue.

Has nothing to do with COVID, leisure travel has rebounded for over a month and fares have returned to normal for months now.
Fair, I was thinking more in terms of the cheapest being as early as only 2 weeks out being bc of covid things. I have the added complication of while not that close, the airport I'd be landing is the closest DL serviced airport to a major event.
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Old Apr 10, 21, 8:50 am
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Originally Posted by flyerfirsts View Post
Looks like the cheapest flights are 2-4 weeks out and basically everything else is more or less the same fare. The 2-4 weeks is easily explained by ongoing covid restrictions/people who won't travel without vaccination.
2-4 weeks out is late April/May which is a lower demand period. You really can't compare fares in this period with travel in August which is a higher demand period. There are several discount fare filings on numerous routes right now which are only valid for travel through May 26th. Those aren't going to be available for purchase in August. Demand tends to taper off in later August as kids go back to school. It would be helpful to know exactly what you are looking at so we can look at the actual fare filings on the route as it is difficult to generalize on these things. Fares can go up and down both based on new fare filings, or more frequently, on bucket inventory availability changing on a particular flight. Generally speaking, the cheapest domestic V fares will have a 3 week advance purchase requirement. So if you see availability in that class and you pass the 3 week boundary, you will be waiting in vain for fares to go down.
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Last edited by xliioper; Apr 10, 21 at 9:07 am
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Old Apr 10, 21, 9:09 am
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Routing, day of week, time of day?

All of these matter as well. Looking at this in the abstract rarely worked pre-pandemic and now, even less so. Are you flying somewhere in the US entering a "fourth wave" of C-19 and a possible set of tough restrictions?

The statistics help if one is a large company with a massive travel spend. If you are right 70% of the time, there are big savings. But, on any given day and route, it's hard to figure.
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Old Apr 10, 21, 9:44 am
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Originally Posted by flyerfirsts View Post
Fair, I was thinking more in terms of the cheapest being as early as only 2 weeks out being bc of covid things. I have the added complication of while not that close, the airport I'd be landing is the closest DL serviced airport to a major event.
Is it also around the same time as said major event? If so, you have your answer as to why DL has jacked up the prices, and as others just said, if you see a lower fare bucket like V, X, T etc. then it may not go down much further, if st all.

Same reason why Delta was selling SFO-MSP for $15K at FULL F when the Super Bowl was in MSP.
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Old Apr 10, 21, 10:39 am
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I had an episode travelling for business April 5 & 6 ATL-Pensacola, catching the end-of-Easter traffic. The air fare when I purchased the ticked the week before was over $900, only fully refundable fares were offered and only paid FC in one direction. After reading on this board about cancellations this last weekend I took another look on April 3rd, and the fare had gone back to $348 RT main cabin for the exact same itinerary. Easy call and refund and upgrades both ways came through anyway. Planes operated full-ish but not COVID full.

I usually don't check back, probably should?
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Old Apr 10, 21, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by Justin026 View Post
I usually don't check back, probably should?
Especially in a no change fee environment (or your case of fully refundable), absolutely.
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Old Apr 10, 21, 11:24 am
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Day of the week you book on can have an effect sometimes. Fridays & weekends can be more expensive
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Old Apr 10, 21, 12:46 pm
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Originally Posted by pmarrsouth View Post
Day of the week you book on can have an effect sometimes. Fridays & weekends can be more expensive
Saturday not so much because it's usually a light travel day relatively speaking. You can always hunt for fare savings with Saturday departures.

I just got a same day fare apparently the carrier made a mistake in the fare rules. Same price for same-day (walk up) vs. a month from now. There is also a married segment issue which brought the price even cheaper. Roundtrip was more than four times higher than two one-ways (US domestic fare) - same day fare and advance purchase (AP) fare.

Bottom line, if you have flexibility, you can always hunt for cheap fares, even during peak seasons. If you have to travel on specific days, or with specific carrier, you are hub captive, or other variety of restrictions, you don't have a choice but pay the fare revenue management (RM) sets.

Off to the airport!
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Old Apr 11, 21, 7:36 am
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Question

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Routing, day of week, time of day?

All of these matter as well. Looking at this in the abstract rarely worked pre-pandemic and now, even less so. Are you flying somewhere in the US entering a "fourth wave" of C-19 and a possible set of tough restrictions?

The statistics help if one is a large company with a massive travel spend. If you are right 70% of the time, there are big savings. But, on any given day and route, it's hard to figure.
An area of the US has tough restrictions?
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Old Apr 11, 21, 9:19 am
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Use Google Flights and click "track prices." Will help you see what's going on.

Prices can go down because of 2 things: 1) Lower Class Inventory opens up (i.e. and L fare opens up instead of a K) ; or 2) Delta lowers the price for existing inventory (i.e. price for L fare goes down).

Of course...also goes the other way. Thanks to the new refund policies you can buy now and then if prices go down reissue your ticket and get delta Credit. Delta Credit is as good as cash for me
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