I'm interested to know how this works.
Normally, when booking last minute [i.e. for travel same/next day] fares tend to be fairly expensive.
There are though occasions when flights go for peanuts, so I'm wondering what would cause an airline to lower, rather than raise, their price. Is it purely demand?
Take, purely as an example, a fictional flight with 100 seats, no major sporting events, no big deal, just a regular day.
Tickets are at about $500 + tax.
With 24 hours to go, 15 seats remain. Would these tend to [and I know this is very hypothetical] be more, or less expensive?
Again, with 4 hours to go, 5 remain. If someone rolled up at this point, would they expect to get a huge, or a teeny fair?
I am wondering how often airlines "win" and how often they "lose" in this kind of situation - is it a gamble? A calculated risk?
If I roll up 4 hours before the fictional flight and am offered a fare of $1,000 + tax, I might say no. But if I was offered $50 + tax I might say yes.
Sure, the airline is holding out for those desparate passengers who need 5 x $1,000 seats to get to something important, but do they ever turn around when the gate closes with those seats unsold and think "shit, could have sold those 5 x $50 seats and made $250"?
Perhaps poorly phrased, but did I get my question accross?