Pointed out that searching for the cheapest airline ticket is a waste of time

A study examining the pricing of major airlines reveals atypical airline pricing. Tricks such as using a VPN to buy flight tickets are all the rage, but researchers say they may be a waste of time.

Organizational Structure and Pricing: Evidence from a Large US Airline* | The Quarterly Journal of Economics | Oxford Academic


Why Scouring The Internet For Plane Ticket Deals Is Probably Pointless | IFLScience


New research shows why hunting for the cheapest plane ticket is a waste of your time

Airline pricing is unique and, unlike other general products and services, does not take into account competitors' prices.

For example, in the case of grocery store jam, once one company raises the price of strawberry jam, customers may end up buying cheaper strawberry jam from another company. Or maybe strawberry jam will become less popular and sales of raspberry jam will increase. Companies will be very careful about pricing.

According to a study by Olivia Natan of the University of Chicago and colleagues, airlines have very specific pricing, and they don't seem to follow suit even if other airlines lower their prices.

Additionally, we found that airlines do not take into account the common pricing model that links ``convenience'' and ``price.''

For example, a consumer who believes that a certain flight ticket is too expensive may deliberately choose a flight that departs early in the morning, thinking that it would be cheaper if it were at a less convenient and less popular time of day. . However, Natan and his colleagues pointed out that these consumer actions may be meaningless because airlines do not appear to be setting prices based on time of day.

This unusual behavior is because airlines set prices based on a model called ESMRb (

Expected Marginal Seat Revenue-b ), which efficiently determines fares for each seat. It seems that it will occur.

ESMRb is a pricing model that efficiently sells high-fare seats and minimizes the creation of low-fare seats. Due to pricing in this model, the price of each seat can vary widely even on the same flight.

Furthermore, Natan and his colleagues point out that the lack of coordination between airline departments is also a problem. The prices handled by airline employees vary by seat and flight, which complicates the decision-making process and may not be sufficient to determine prices to maximize profits. “We spoke to airline managers and they said they didn't know what their pricing teams were doing,” Natan and colleagues added.

The only strategy Natan and his colleagues suggest to get cheap flights is to buy tickets long before your scheduled departure date. 'What is clear is that prices will go up significantly 21, 14 and 7 days before your flight. Buy your ticket before then,' Natan said.

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• Discord | 'What service do you use when buying airline tickets?' | GIGAZINE

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