What causes an increase in flight ticket prices? Mentioned in this post are 3 factors beyond the control of a flyer and 2 factors that the flyers can control. Keep reading.
Airlines and flight booking sites follow a differential flight booking system where the same set of passengers on a flight are charged different prices based on the kind of service they opt for, the time of booking and many other factors. But what causes this increase in flight tickets?
Let’s look at five factors, broken down into 3 factors that are not in the traveller’s control and 2 factors that are.
3 Factors – Not in Your Control
- Increased Demand or Lesser Supply: Airlines and flight booking websites will suddenly increase prices when they see an increased demand or lesser supply. There is a limited supply, and whenever the demand exceeds the supply, flight prices are bound to go up. However, for flights that are days or even weeks and months ahead from now, a change in demand and supply today could trigger a price change. This is because airlines will anticipate the demand based on the demand curve today and bring about changes in the price. This is why you may notice a slight jump in prices when an airline shuts down.
- Popular Routes or Travel Dates: You may have to pay more for a popular route such as Delhi to Lucknow than a lesser-travelled route such as Delhi to Dehradun, even if the aerial distance is similar. This is because it is a popular route with many travellers looking to buy flight tickets every day. Moreover, popular travel dates such as Christmas or Diwali might witness an increase in prices months before the actual holiday.
- Price of Crude Oil: Aeroplanes run on jet fuel that comes from crude oil. A change in crude oil prices triggers a change in the prices almost instantly. Flights are fuel-hungry and burn about 4-litres of expensive jet fuel every second. Thus, a change in the price of jet fuel due to crude oil price difference is sure to impact the cost of your air ticket.
While these factors are not in your control, you can reduce their impact by being flexible with your travel dates, looking for discounts or opting for a miles program to earn miles on your flight tickets.
Now, let’s look at two factors that are in your control;
- Booking too close to Departure Date: This is a no-brainer. Airlines and flight booking sites use advanced algorithms to fix prices so that most of the seats on the flight are sold out before the departure date. With very few seats left up for grabs by hundreds and thousands looking to travel last minute, it is sure to impact the price of your air ticket. This is why many travel experts vouch for the importance of booking tickets early.
- Searching for Flights Again and Again: Every time you search for a flight, the website records your cookies. And when you search for a flight, again and again, the website anticipates your desperation to buy a ticket. They may use this data to jack-up the prices. In fact, sometimes, some websites will only jack up the price for you. Thus, make sure you search flights in incognito or private mode. Also, use a multi-airlines portal that shows multiple airlines and flight options in a single search.
Flights are Becoming More and More Affordable
Despite the changing flight prices, they are fast becoming accessible to the traveller in every segment. With low-cost carriers, flying has become affordable for everyone, while full-service airlines cater to those looking to spend a little extra for that comfort and luxury. Choose a flight based on your needs and budget, and remember to avoid making the mistakes pointed here.