Anonymous asked in TravelAir Travel · 1 month ago

Why do airline tickets get MORE expensive as the departure date gets closer, instead of less expensive?

I don't know to what extent this factor has been effected by the pandemic, if at all, but let's assume it is a normal time, with no pandemic.

I have always noticed that the sooner you want to fly, the more expensive it is.

If you buy a ticket to depart today or tomorrow, it will typically be more expensive than if you bought the ticket a month in advance.

But why isn't it actually cheaper to buy a seat for a flight that leaves today?

If there are empty seats on a flight soon to depart, then those empties don't make the airline any money.

And if the plane is going there anyway, then where the occupied seats go, the unoccupied seats have to follow.

Why wouldn't they take what they can get at that point?

7 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    They reckon that the closer it gets to departure date, the more urgent it is for you to travel, so they can charge you more. If it wasn't urgent you would have booked much earlier

  • 1 month ago

    Airlines have been doing this long before the pandemic

  • 1 month ago

    Airlines have been doing this long before the pandemic

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Generally, there are less seats closer to departure so increasing the price increases the profit on what is generally very tight margins.  Contrary to popular belief, an airline has no real benefit to fill all of the seats on a plane.  The point is to make a profit or come as close to as possible.  Also, a flight has to operate no matter what so an airline would rather keep empty seats open for someone willing to pay the premium than some yolkal who will probably never fly with the airline again

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  • 1 month ago

    Because the cheaper seats sell out first leaving only the more expensive seats.

  • 1 month ago

    This explains quite well:

    So, it isn't exactly true that the prices go up as the flight date approaches. It's that some seats were priced cheaper to start with and those got sold first to people who were willing and able to plan ahead. It's like going to a store that has jeans on sale, but only the red and purple ones. Get there too late and if you want jeans that day you have to buy blue ones and they're not on sale. And how many people, really, can suddenly decide to leave today? Most people who can afford to fly anywhere have jobs or school or kids, pets, things they can't just drop at short notice.

    There are sometimes going to be planes with a bunch of empty seats, but at least before covid, I haven't seen one for ten years.

  • John
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Hey, you don't want to pay for a ticket you don't get to fly today. You are welcome to avail yourself of the plethora of alternatives.

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