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Why are airfares so ridiculously expensive?

City Slicker

Why are airfares so ridiculously expensive?

trying to find good airfares but prices just keep rising!  anyone have advice on how to get the good rates? is it true that if you search for a particular fare on your computer, there's some way the website knows you've looked before and will jack up the price?  

9 Replies
Stately Explorer

Re: Why are airfares so ridiculously expensive?

Try out ITA Matrix. They don't let you buy airfare on this site but they help you find a good price, then you can book from an online site. Try to be flexable with your dates. Go in the off season and travel mid-week.

 

When you do the search select "See calendar of lowest fares."

 

Link: http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

County Wise

Re: Why are airfares so ridiculously expensive?

also try to have a diversified portfolio of miles

County Wise

Re: Why are airfares so ridiculously expensive?

"there's some way the website knows you've looked before and will jack up the price?"

 

Yes, clear your browsing history and your cookies or search from a different browser. 

 

Airline prices are high because of fuel prices and lack of competition.  Kayak.com is a good way to find cheaper fares.  I've had good luck with them.  You can setup a fare alert that will let you know when fares for that destination fall.  Also try to book international fares many months in advance and domestic at least 6-9 weeks in advance. 

 

As the cheaper seats sell out, the airfares will keep rising.  Also airfares rise when the destination becomes popular (e.g. South America is popular in January, Europe is popular in July and August).  Try to go in the off season or at least the shoulder season.

 

 

City Slicker

Re: Why are airfares so ridiculously expensive?

Skyscanner and Google Flights are always best best for me.

County Wise

Re: Why are airfares so ridiculously expensive?

"Skyscanner and Google Flights are always best best for me."

 

I've not had good luck with Skyscanner, although I know a lot of people like it.

 

I haven't tried Google Flights much.  I hate Google knowing everything I'm doing.

County Wise

Re: Why are airfares so ridiculously expensive?

It used to be that Tuesday was the best day of the week to buy flights, but that's changed and now its Sunday and Saturday.

 

From the below article: 

"A new deep dive into airline fares suggests Sunday is the best day to find low fares... Over a 19-month period ending in July, 130 million domestic and international round-trip tickets worth $94 billion showed the lowest average price, of $432, was on Sunday. At $439, Saturday’s average is also lower than Tuesday, which averages $497."

 

WSJ article: http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-best-day-to-buy-airline-tickets-1413999377?tesla=y&mg=reno64-wsj&...

County Wise

Re: Why are airfares so ridiculously expensive?

I have the same difficulty. Traveling to a different state almost costs the same as traveling to a different continent! But what has really helped with prices is Priceline name your own price. As long as the time of day or specific air carrier are not critical aspects of your traveling. Hope you find something. :) 

Stately Explorer

Re: Why are airfares so ridiculously expensive?

I start with a general search engine, and then go into the individual pages (Southwest, United, etc.).  Also, be careful when looking at your total planned expenses.  We recently were looking at flights to New Orleans and while United was technically cheaper, add in a checked bag (travelling with a 3 y/o for a week means more stuff than a carryon can fit) made Southwest overall cheaper.  Also, I try to look at less fixed days on all the websites.  If you're looking at more complicated international flights, this website has some great people that find flights for cheap.  https://flightfox.com/

Nationally Recognized

Re: Why are airfares so ridiculously expensive?

I know what you mean! I am still amazed that so many airlines now charge for seat selection, blankets, meals, drinks, you name it!

RJean