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Thread: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

  1. #1
    vince123123
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    Default Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    I was trying to book two tickets to Tokyo and was quite surprised to learn that SIA's airfares seem to get more expensive the closer the date (I always thought airfares were the most expensive the earlier you book).

    I went on Singaporeair.com.sg sometime in August and at that time, I could get two tickets for around S$1200 + S$152 (taxes & surcharges).

    Today, if I go online, they cost S$1800 + S$514 (taxes & surcharges). The exact same dates were chosen.

    What I was surprised was that the taxes and surcharges actually change! I thought they were fixed costs regardless of the air ticket cost.

    One clue to this could be that now only the "Flexi" option is available. Previously, there were "Super Deals", "Flexi Saver" and "Flexi". It could be because all the Super Deals and Flexi Savers were sold out?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    Airfares do get more expensive if you book closer to the flight date. The airline company are taking advantage of the 'desperate' or 'urgent' situation that they think you are in,
    and they assumed that you will have to buy the tickets no matter what's the price like compared to before.

    Budget airfares are the best example. Book early $20, book late $200.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kel77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    Yes, the flight charges will get more ex closer to the date of departure. It should be for all airlines.

    I'll be going to Tokyo around 2 weeks later and when I was doing the booking at the agency, I was told that the final price is not confirmed until the ticket is issued due to the fuel charges. Your huge difference for the charges should be attributed to the offer as well.

  4. #4
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    Thanks to both of you for the assistance; next time I guess I"ll book earlier haha. I always thought that late bookers get cheaper because the airlines are desperate to fill up the last few holes in a flight that needs to fly anyway because it is already 80% full. Or maybe this applies only to the extremely late bookers (maybe 1 day before?) when all the urgent cases are exhausted.

    For fuel charges, perhaps it was a huge jackup. I tried a test book on SIA's site for a March 2010 date, and the charges were the same at S$514; even under the Super Deals or similar categories.

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    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    yup, agree with the other 2 CSers...and if you're wondering if there are promos, they usually come in 3 to 6-month windows for SIA, and usually on the off-peak periods. so don't expect to get great deals if it's over christmas or school holidays.

    i got tickets to the maldives for only $566 compared to 1100+, all inclusive because it was just after the off-peak season in the maldives.
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    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    That used to be the case last time when airline has excess seat esp in US flights, but now they reverse the situation by cutting down the number of flights so more passenger than seats on certain days, thus they can charge more.
    Book early and have luxury to choose your seat
    Last edited by aryanto; 5th October 2009 at 01:34 PM.

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    my information is that the tax went up on 1st oct

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    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Thanks to both of you for the assistance; next time I guess I"ll book earlier haha. I always thought that late bookers get cheaper because the airlines are desperate to fill up the last few holes in a flight that needs to fly anyway because it is already 80% full. Or maybe this applies only to the extremely late bookers (maybe 1 day before?) when all the urgent cases are exhausted.

    For fuel charges, perhaps it was a huge jackup. I tried a test book on SIA's site for a March 2010 date, and the charges were the same at S$514; even under the Super Deals or similar categories.
    A majority of the airlines will typically overbook a flight if possible, I was once asked to give up my seat voluntarily on a overbooked flight though I had already checked-in, was given cash rebate and a bump to 1st class on the next flight out. Was more than happy to except the compensation as I wasn't in a rush or anything.
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    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    Quote Originally Posted by antacid View Post
    yup, agree with the other 2 CSers...and if you're wondering if there are promos, they usually come in 3 to 6-month windows for SIA, and usually on the off-peak periods. so don't expect to get great deals if it's over christmas or school holidays.

    i got tickets to the maldives for only $566 compared to 1100+, all inclusive because it was just after the off-peak season in the maldives.
    which month did you go to maldives? I am planning a holiday there and right now best quote I see is still $2.5k per person for 4 nights.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    I think it depends more on sales of tickets & SEASON.... rather than booking early or late.....

    I have both cases of getting cheap ticket early & late.... mostly buget flight around SE Asia, it seems that if the airline is unable to sell a certain percentage of seats by a certain time.... then would likely lower their fares... but if you are booking a super popular flight that is fully booked all the time (S'pore - LA)... it will only get more $$$$

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    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    earlier the cheaper, i booked a bangkok jetstar flight 6 months in advance and it only cost $86, two ways with insurance

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    yup...i am going to book my aust flight in Feb 2010 this month...earlier cheaper. esp europe...

    If jap you can book the airpass...very gd deal cheap cheap..vince u can PM if u need help with that else i think just call JAL for assistance

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    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    Quote Originally Posted by ConnorMcLeod View Post
    which month did you go to maldives? I am planning a holiday there and right now best quote I see is still $2.5k per person for 4 nights.
    i went during end of august, which is the end of change of monsoon. wow, thats expensive. i thought usual rates are about 1100 per person including taxes. are you booking less than a month before your trip?
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    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    I booked a pair of tickets (SIA) for next Feb to Nagoya. 3 days later, ticket prices went down by almost a $50 each.

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    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    Quote Originally Posted by antacid View Post
    i went during end of august, which is the end of change of monsoon. wow, thats expensive. i thought usual rates are about 1100 per person including taxes. are you booking less than a month before your trip?
    I haven't booked yet. Targetting early December. But at this rate, I may defer my trip.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    Actually I heard something contrary, from someone who claims to be in charge of sales for commercial passengers (so this maybe the reason of deviation from what was said in this thread).

    Basically this person said, they need to make certain amount of profit for a flight, hence the price of tickets for the first xx% of seats will be at $abc. Once above this For the last few %s of the seats left, since target profit was already made, therefore filling remaining seats is less of a pressure for the sales people hence the price is more negotiable.

    Of course , at the end of the day the price is subject to the simple rule of demand and supply. If there are so many people fighting for the few remaining seats, it would be silly not the raise the price.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post

    One clue to this could be that now only the "Flexi" option is available. Previously, there were "Super Deals", "Flexi Saver" and "Flexi". It could be because all the Super Deals and Flexi Savers were sold out?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
    it really depends.

    sometimes there are last minute offers, because they couldn't quite clear the seats. that happened quite often during the financial crisis period when it was really bad.

    i remember flying to and fro with a half-empty plane, it was that bad. that period, if you book last minute, you become a winner.

    there are many factors, i guess, when it comes to pricing airline tickets.. particularly when it comes to reputable companies that cannot just suka suka cancel flights last minute because they feel that they aren't going to profit from the flight. they have a reputation to uphold.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Do Airfares get Cheaper the Earlier or Later You Book?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Thanks to both of you for the assistance; next time I guess I"ll book earlier haha. I always thought that late bookers get cheaper because the airlines are desperate to fill up the last few holes in a flight that needs to fly anyway because it is already 80% full. Or maybe this applies only to the extremely late bookers (maybe 1 day before?) when all the urgent cases are exhausted.

    For fuel charges, perhaps it was a huge jackup. I tried a test book on SIA's site for a March 2010 date, and the charges were the same at S$514; even under the Super Deals or similar categories.
    from my experience, booking more than 3 months in advance, prices seem a little higher.
    For peak periods (specific holidays) it's probably to book as early as possible.

    personally I tend to book no more than 1.5 months in advance and for flights in asia I book about 2-3 weeks in advance

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