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readytotaxi
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"Last Minute" Discount Seat Sales, In The Past?

Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:07 pm

Wondering if any airlines is offering "last minute" ticket sales when they find an aircraft/route is going out half empty.
Is the current security/screening preventing such offers worldwide? A late night thought.  
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Pe@rson
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RE: "Last Minute" Discount Seat Sales, In The Past

Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:18 pm

Quoting readytotaxi (Thread starter):

Wondering if any airlines is offering "last minute" ticket sales when they find an aircraft/route is going out half empty.
Is the current security/screening preventing such offers worldwide? A late night thought.

More the fact that more price-inelastic (i.e., price-insensitive) customers book last-minute, so airlines can charge high prices and these people, through necessity, must pay it. However, it's often not that difficult, in markets with much competition, to find pretty cheap last-minute fares. For example, EI is charging £58 one-way all-in for LHR-DUB tomorrow, BA £72 one-way all-in for LHR-EDI, BA £57 one-way all-in for LGW-BCN (or a daytrip for £129), EZY £59 for MAN-BFS one-way all-in, EZY LON-AGP from £74 one-way all-in, etc.
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N908AW
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RE: "Last Minute" Discount Seat Sales, In The Past

Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:22 pm

Sun Country does a lot of weekend deals it calls "Wing It" sales. They announce them Tuesdays for the upcoming weekend depending on the loads. Not sure how well they work but I guess it's worth a shot.
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silentbob
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RE: "Last Minute" Discount Seat Sales, In The Past

Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:22 pm

Prices are manipulated much farther in advance in order to prevent something like that from happening. The computers consider past loads, special events, current booking trends, etc... to manage yields and generate the greatest possible amount of revenue.
 
pezzy669
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RE: "Last Minute" Discount Seat Sales, In The Past

Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:08 pm

Delta has last minute weekend web fares on occasion, usually good for the next weekend and has real tight restrictions (leave Saturday must return Mon or Tue) type deals.

http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_...ecials.html?icid=FS_US_WWF_Ongoing

Delta still has this weekends deal up even so it is not avail anymore.
 
UALFAson
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RE: "Last Minute" Discount Seat Sales, In The Past

Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:17 pm

Here in the U.S., most airlines offer last minute e-fares--typically available on Tuesday morning, for certain flights leaving late Friday night or, more likely, Saturday morning (when there are few business travelers) and returning the following Monday or Tuesday. In my opinion, many of the prices aren't really that good of a deal, especially considering what a specific timeframe you're forced into traveling.

Before their merger with CO, UA for a while offered Saturday-only same-day return e-fares. I was only able to take advantage once--flew IAD-BDL on a 757 in the morning (with an upgrade to F, courtesy of the recently announced new policy of unlimited upgrades for Premier passengers), rented a car and drove up to Providence, hung out, and flew back to IAD that evening. A fun little day trip!

I think we'll see fewer and fewer of these fares as airlines, at least here in the States, are getting much better at early on pro-actively cancelling specific flights on certain days of the week that are not booking well rather than scrambling at the last-minute to fill them with discounted fares.
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YLWbased
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RE: "Last Minute" Discount Seat Sales, In The Past

Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:35 am

CX and KA offers something called "Fanfares" every Tuesday to about 8-9 destinations, usually for flights in the next 14 days or so.

YLWbased
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Piedmont727
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RE: "Last Minute" Discount Seat Sales, In The Past

Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:39 pm

I had a ticket for economy on a AA md-80 and they only had 1 first class seat filled with a full economy section so they started selling upgrades to first for 20$ , that was a nice surprise
 
ORDJOE
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RE: "Last Minute" Discount Seat Sales, In The Past

Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:03 pm

AA and UA offer last minute get away deals or the like, so it can be done
 
offloaded
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RE: "Last Minute" Discount Seat Sales, In The Past

Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:46 pm

Times have changed. I'd guess that airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet are where they are today because their cheapest fares are usually bought months in advance, thus allowing the airline to sit on a nice pile of cash, but rewarding the passenger with a cheaper fare. In the long run, its probably better for them to fly with empty seats than start a trend towards late bookings again.
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roseflyer
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RE: "Last Minute" Discount Seat Sales, In The Past

Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:49 pm

In the United States revenue management is far better than it used to be. Airlines are far better at knowing when loads are going to be light and adjust fares accordingly. For example airports in the northern climate US states tend to have quite a significant variety in fares. SEA and ORD for example will have coast to coast flights under $300 in January – February. These are the lowest load months in general and very few people want to go to those climates in the winter. Not only is vacation travel down (other than sun destinations), business travel drops to a low in January for Chicago. You can watch fares and they adjust accordingly. However in the warmer and higher load factor months, fares skyrocket to the point where sales offering $250 roundtrips for 2000 mile flights disappear completely.

Passengers booking closest to departure are least flexible and willing to pay higher fares. Although there are some fare sales out there, airlines prefer not to train their customers into thinking that the price will ever drop. It rarely does because that encourages people to buy tickets later which is not what the airline wants. For domestic US markets with strong business travel (most hubs), about 40-50% of seats are sold within 7 days of departure. Leisure routes and international are booked farther out, but there is still a sweet spot between 3 and 10 days before travel when most tickets are sold. This is where most of the money is earned, so dropping fares then would be disastrous for the bottom line.
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