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Airline tickets through the roof
June 9, 2011 2:00 PM   Subscribe

Did US airfares just skyrocket in the past couple of days for some reason? Details follow...

Two days ago I was pricing out a roundtrip ticket from OKC to SWF for about 10 days out and was getting figures of $340-400 with all kinds of date combinations, even within 7 days. Today I went to buy the itinerary and now I'm getting figures of $650, and it's even in that ballpark even if I push my plans out past 14 days. Did something happen in the past couple of days to spike the prices?

I do know that airline tickets are unpredictable, but I've never seen anything like this, and will probably just cancel my plans since this will put me over budget. Farecast is useless for anything like this, since a connection is involved.
posted by crapmatic to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've been pricing JFK to MCO on Farecast this week, and it's constantly been telling me to wait, that fares will drop soon. FWIW.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:02 PM on June 9, 2011


A random guess suggests that the summer travel season is here, and with it, increased demand for plane tickets. When demand increases but supply remains the same or diminishes, prices increase.
posted by dfriedman at 2:04 PM on June 9, 2011


More to the point, OPEC's failure to come to any agreement on prices is my knee jerk reaction.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:05 PM on June 9, 2011


OPEC doesn't set the prices that airlines pay for jet fuel....the fuel that airlines will be using this summer has already been extracted from the ground. OPEC's inability to come to any agreement will affect spot oil prices in the commodities markets, but it won't, in the short term, affect jet fuel prices.
posted by dfriedman at 2:09 PM on June 9, 2011


Summer travel, especially on feeder routes serviced by small aircraft, is particularly volatile for pricing. As soon as demand starts ramping up (depends a lot on school schedules and which days of the week stat holidays fall on), the prices follow quickly.

The airline industry rewards long-term planning. For example, you can book a ticket around Christmas 2011 right now and the prices for high-traffic days won't be too different from the typically less-busy days. Come November, that gap will increase massively.
posted by t_dubs at 2:11 PM on June 9, 2011


I see swings wider than that all the time. Wait and it'll go down again. And up again.
posted by rokusan at 2:12 PM on June 9, 2011


This stuff is a crapshoot. Try again tomorrow.
posted by valkyryn at 2:16 PM on June 9, 2011


We're starting to enter U.S. schools summer vacation season, would be my guess.
posted by aught at 2:23 PM on June 9, 2011


I did say it was knee jerk. So much for being clever.

See, however, this and this
posted by IndigoJones at 2:33 PM on June 9, 2011


Clear your cookies. I believe some of these sites use your previous visits to set the price.
posted by PhillC at 3:14 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


2nd the cookie suggestion (and/or accessing from a different IP address): I'm 99% sure this has been covered on consumerist, but I'm too lazy right now to check.
posted by matlock expressway at 3:18 PM on June 9, 2011


I love this youtube video from FareCast about seasonality of ticket prices.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 5:33 PM on June 9, 2011


OPEC's inability to come to any agreement will affect spot oil prices in the commodities markets, but it won't, in the short term, affect jet fuel prices.

North American jet fuel prices are up slightly on a week ago, but still well down on prices a month ago. Note the large overall rise over the past year, though.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:57 PM on June 9, 2011


Also, airline ticket prices generally rise during the week, though it varies by airline. I'm also too lazy to google this, but I think airfarewatchdog.com has something on it.
posted by MrZero at 6:01 PM on June 9, 2011


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