I’ve been getting lots of last-minute inquiry for the silly season, yes the time has come when we all go crazy and wax lyrical about how we should have booked those flights home much earlier than now.
This is Travel Josh's Tip #2! To see his other tips and meet the man, head to Travel Josh's page!
Don’t despair – I can at least help overcome your post-purchase dissonance, by filling you in on how prices work, and a tip on how you can make the most of this peak season.
Airlines are savvy at profit-maximizing; we all know this. They have entire yield departments that spreadsheet every single flight, making sure they are getting the most revenue they can.
They do this by setting up algorithms for their availability, once ‘x’ amount of seats sell in each booking class, they move up to the next price, that’s why you see “only 1 seat available at this price” when you are online.
Here is what a Dec 20 availability looks like for LAX – SYD with Qantas:
The letter Y down to O are economy seats, T up to U are premium, and I to P are Business, and finally, A and F are 1st class. As you can see – 20th December is quite a busy time to go from LAX – SYD with Qantas, the 0’s mean, no seats left.
It’s always worth in peak season to price the difference in classes of service, sometimes – the cheaper premium seats, are not that different in price from the more expensive economy class – sure, you’ll still be paying a bucket load, but at least you are getting the most bang for your buck.
A positive spin on these peak prices is also your status with the airline. Only 40 points off going from Silver to Gold? Status is governed by the booking class booked. The cheaper booking classes yield fewer status points, the higher booking classes yield higher status.
Yes, maybe you’ve left it a little late to book your flights back to Oz for Xmas, maybe not – every day is different, and people cancel flights all the time. It’s always worth asking a professional who understands how yield works, and you never know – maybe your dates have some cheaper seats still. Talking to a professional will give you the peace of mind that you got the very best deal – plus make sure you are flying with your favorite airline, as the status you get from those expensive flights may just get you bumped up a notch on the status ladder! ‘Till next week folks, and if you have any questions please reach out.
How to get in touch with Josh
Do you have questions? Do you need travel advice? Contact Josh by his email, [email protected]