If a flight is booking up faster than expected, an airline may decrease the number of seats available at some of their lowest fare levels, or wipe them all out altogether.
If a flight is not selling well, suddenly more seats may appear at fare levels that were previously “sold out”.
Some fares are blacked out around holiday and other peak travel times.
Generally speaking, the lower the fare, the more restrictions there will be on it, and the fewer flights that that fare will be offered on.
This process happens continuously until hours before departure.
Generally, over time fares on a particular flight will get higher and higher as more and more seats gets booked and more and more fare levels get closed.
In fact, if you subscribe to our fare alerts, you probably are constantly hearing about a brand new fare sale – often more than one a week.
Some sale fares are really good deals; others are worthwhile only because they provide decent fares on dates or times that previously weren’t eligible for the lowest fares; and still others are just plain meaningless because they are no better than one or more other fares already in the market.
Yet, we also get e-mails that heap lavish praise on us after we contact a customer to tell them that between when they paid for their flight and we went to process it, the fare went down by or 5.
And as many of you have noticed, airlines change fares often. Why is checking a fare like playing the stock market – up one day, down the next, with seemingly no rhyme or reason?
From a practical standpoint, this is the probably the most important point to understand about airline pricing.
As more and more seats are booked on a flight, more and more fare levels will be “closed out” so the end result is that additional passengers will be stuck paying higher fares. Airlines actually have computer programs that are constantly monitoring flights, analyzing booking patterns, and .