Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Why don't airlines offer cheap, last-minute deals to fill empty seats?

We know that the smartest way to save money on airline seats is by being an early bird. But what about those times of emergency when you have to make last-minute flight bookings?
Yes, most of us have been in such situations. And we have also regretted paying an exorbitant price for the same seat that we could have availed at a much lesser rate, only if booked early.
Not that we can escape the problem often. But have you wondered why airlines keep increasing their price over the course of booking a particular carrier? Even if they have to fly with empty seats? Why don't they just sell them off at a cheaper rate?
Well, looks like people are indeed keen to know the reason behind the trick. Which has now resulted in a thread of observations on Quora.
And what has emerged out of the responses of its several users is that airlines bank on two major factors: price sensitivity and travel urgency. Generally, it's a leisure traveller who is more price sensitive. And so, he will always make an advance booking for any trip.
However, for a business traveller, there are instances where he or she has to travel on the basis of urgency. So, even if it is a last-minute booking, a business traveller will rarely hesitate.
Airline companies, of course, are aware of this trend. So for every journey being made by a carrier, airlines take note of two things--''how many people have already booked and the rate at which they are booking, and the historical demand for similar flights based on timing (school holidays, festivals etc.),'' said John Woodley, on Quora.
07/08/17 Disha Roy Choudhury/India Today