LinuxQuestions.org
Visit the LQ Articles and Editorials section
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Non-*NIX Forums > General
User Name
Password
General This forum is for non-technical general discussion which can include both Linux and non-Linux topics. Have fun!

Notices

Reply
 
LinkBack Search this Thread
Old 03-07-2009, 02:41 PM   #1
RHLinuxGUY
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.04
Posts: 889
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 30
Why does ticket costs fluctuate so much/fast on Orbitz and variants?


As the title suggests? What governs the price of a plane ticket, and why would a ticket fluctuate a hundred dollars or so [without warning]/[nearly instaly]? Thanks in advance!
 
Old 03-08-2009, 08:58 AM   #2
Hangdog42
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Maryland
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 7,769
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 410Reputation: 410Reputation: 410Reputation: 410Reputation: 410
Since the airlines are trying to get the highest fares possible, they change the fares several times a day depending on demand. To be honest, airline ticket pricing seems to make the stock market look simple, clear and understandable.
 
Old 03-08-2009, 09:28 AM   #3
salasi
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2007
Location: Directly above centre of the earth, UK
Distribution: SuSE, plus some hopping
Posts: 3,860

Rep: Reputation: 768Reputation: 768Reputation: 768Reputation: 768Reputation: 768Reputation: 768Reputation: 768
As close as you will get to a explanation is that, once having decided to run a 'plane, the marginal cost of an extra passenger is negligible.

So, if you think you are about to get n passengers, almost any income you can get from an n+1 th passenger is going to go to 'profit' (or loss reduction) even if you charge them way less than
Code:
 cost of flight / number of passengers
(code?).

Of course, if you think that there is any chance that you will be overbooked, you want to get as high a price for each seat as you can and while this is the operating region in which you would like your airline to be operating, it is not a common case. (And, of course, if you do have an overspill, you would like your overspill to go on to another of your flights, rather than defecting to a competitor.)
 
Old 03-08-2009, 02:57 PM   #4
moxieman99
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: Dabble, but latest used are Fedora 13 and Ubuntu 10.4.1
Posts: 407

Rep: Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by RHLinuxGUY View Post
As the title suggests? What governs the price of a plane ticket, and why would a ticket fluctuate a hundred dollars or so [without warning]/[nearly instaly]? Thanks in advance!
--------------------
The airlines have highly developed yield management (profit maximizing) software that they use to recalculate prices instantly, based on past experience and current demand. The stuff is run on supercomputers such as made (or were made) by Cray. Every conceivable factor goes in, including the fact that if they have to move a plane from point A to point B simply to be in place for the next day, then seats can be cheap since the plane has to fly anyway.

As noted by others, the marginal cost of schlepping a passenger is near zero. Add to the fact that seats expire (no more seats can be sold when the plane is in the air, for example), airlines milk every last dime they can.

Sometimes it doesn't make sense, given that other industries don't do that (you don't pay extra for a restaurant table on Friday night, for example), but airlines insist on that system as the way to maximize profits (or minimize losses, which is the same thing nowadays).
 
Old 03-12-2009, 07:57 AM   #5
Dutch72
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Location: Rotterdam
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 31

Rep: Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by RHLinuxGUY View Post
What governs the price of a plane ticket, and why would a ticket fluctuate a hundred dollars or so?

On a mildly related note, a friend and frequent traveller told me the following story:

He looked up a flight on a "cheap tickets" search engine (I don't recall which one). After getting a relatively good price for the flight he wanted, he checked other search engines. Not finding a competitive price, he returned to site A.

How was now quoted a *significantly* higher price for the same ticket. Note: we are speaking approx 30 mins later. He checked the pricing a couple of times, but it did not go down again.

He finally deleted all browser cookies, and was immediately offered the low price again.

Can anybody confirm or refute this tip?

(I must admit not having tested it, as I do not book flights online)


Dutch
(who is happiest standing on terra firma)
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LXer: Orbitz paves the way to enterprise open-source contributions LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 06-28-2008 03:10 PM
Solaris variants and ZFS for file server madivad Solaris / OpenSolaris 28 03-18-2008 08:22 PM
Communigate over Sendmail and othe "Free" variants of mail. keysorsoze Linux - Enterprise 2 11-06-2006 08:16 PM
Variants of X Stephanie General 5 05-15-2002 08:01 AM
Ticket System? mcleodnine LQ Suggestions & Feedback 7 06-22-2001 02:41 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:11 AM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration