For many, the act of searching for the lowest possible published airline ticket fare has become somewhat of a mildly enjoyable exercise. Working in the travel industry, we are constantly interacting with customers that are comparing fares and routes, intent on making sure every dollar is well spent.
In the past, groups like Expedia have reported that the average consumer may visit up to 38 sites prior to booking.
The airlines are about to end the mad dash for the best deal.
The days of you being able to use some travel hack, booking at 3:00am on a Tuesday, or resorting to purchasing during the next full moon may be coming to an end.
Say hello to dynamic pricing.
As Travel + Leisure reports, many US based airlines are considering the widespread introduction of “dynamic pricing,” which would mean that different passengers pay different fares — and not just for the usual upgrades like extra legroom or business class seating; but for published rates!
Quite simply, you and your neighbor may be searching the exact same flight, at the exact same time, but receive a different price based on your profile (and IP address).
Demand-based dynamic, or surge, pricing isn’t necessarily a new concept. Other industries use it quite regularly. Have you ever tried to book an Uber during rush hour, or even worse, on New Year’s Eve? You’ve likely payed more, and you can thank dynamic pricing for those extra dollars that left your bank account.
In truth, some passengers are more valuable to the airlines than others—and it will reflect in price.
If you fall into the category of “deal hunter,”— beware.
Your hunting days may be coming to an end!