home Travel Expedia Flight Prices Experiment

Expedia Flight Prices Experiment

I have booked a number of tickets through the airlines’ websites and also on the online travel websites like Expedia or Travelocity. One thing I have noticed is that the prices can really vary from day to day. Recently, I was trying to decide if there is any kind of pattern for this.

Why? Because I am always frustrated when I have found the tickets I want and then I just wait a day to discuss with my wife and make arrangements at work for the time off. When I go back the next day, the prices have changed substantially for the worse. I have a feeling that the airlines have a complex marketing system for their ticket prices, but this will hopefully give some indication of the movement of these prices.

Update: I have the follow up posting for this now

I am going to do an experiment. I am going to check flights just using Expedia for three scenarios. These are selected at random by me to represent 3 different kind of situations for booking a flight.

  1. A flight from Calgary to Montreal for the May long weekend. (internal flight for the weekend)
  2. Round trip flight from Calgary to London leaving July 4th and returning July 23rd. (international flight from Canada during the holiday season)
  3. One way flight from Los Angelos to Quito leaving July 20th. (international flight – typical backpacker, “I don’t know when I’m coming back” ticket purchase).

I will record the prices for the cheapest flights available as of today. Every day, I will check the prices and I will write down the cheapest price for that day. I know this isn’t really a true test because flights could fill up or become available, but it will show quite a bit about what prices will be available. I’m assuming we can leave at any time those days.

Calgary to Montreal Round Trip (May 18th, May 21st)

Date of Quote: Saturday, March 17th, 2007
Price: $560

Calgary to London Round Trip (July 4th, July 23rd)

Date of Quote: Saturday, March 17th, 2007
Price: $1457

Los Angelos to Quito (July 20th)

Date of Quote: Saturday, March 17th, 2007
Price: $483

If anyone has some theories or ideas on how this works please let me know. Hopefully someone who has worked at an airline might have some insight.


Leave a Reply