Salient to Investors:

Bill Brunger at PODS Research and Scott Nason at SDN TT&H Consulting said:

  • A single flight often has 20 or more fares with purchase deadlines of 1 to 90 days. Fares booked 21 days in advance generally cost less than fares bought a week or less before travel.
  • Airlines overbook most flights as the amount of no-shows has been remarkably stable over the years and it is financially lucrative as overbooking accounts for 2 percent to 4 percent of the industry’s entire revenue.
  • Buying vacation flights nearly a year in advance will not help you get the best ticket price because revenue management people don’t know too much a year out so are nervous and pick a default level that’s conservative.
  • For Thanksgiving and Christmas travel, book early-ish as an airline having too many empty seats three to four weeks before departure and being desperate to sell them is exceedingly rare – closer to departure, the seats that are left cost far more.
  • If the price feels like a fairly good fare, take the plunge.
  • Stop looking and keep shopping a flight you’ve purchased. Airlines are much less likely to refund you the savings than they used to be.

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