Predictions

by Dennis Yang




What If You Could See Airline Pricing Algorithms?

from the actually-a-watched-pot-does-boil dept

Even with a variety of price comparison tools at our fingertips, shopping for plane tickets is still a black art. Prices change depending on ticket availability, route popularity, and a cadre of other unseen factors. A new site, Farecast, attempts to help would-be travelers decide when the best time to buy a plane ticket by forecasting future ticket price changes. Price transparency is good for the consumer, and the mere fact that a site like this even gets any buzz is symptomatic of the frustration that consumers feel for the whole ticket buying process. If Farecast is able to accurately predict this market and increase price transparency, consumers will win out by getting some valuable insight on a very confusing process. Then again, if too successful, at which point do these forecasts start actually influencing the prices themselves?

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  • identicon
    dave, 26 May 2006 @ 2:00pm

    another middleman to pay? screw that noise.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 May 2006 @ 2:02pm

    Sounds like stock market tips

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Adelec, 26 May 2006 @ 2:04pm

    Hey, I didn't know that posting anonymously would make of me a coward lol

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cary, 26 May 2006 @ 2:06pm

    Moving targets

    Once the airlines figure out that they are making less money because of this greater transparency, they'll just change the algorithms and then we're back to square one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anonymous coward, 26 May 2006 @ 2:35pm

    if airline tickets are so expensive, why is every airplane i fly on full of the sketchiest bunch of low-life losers?

    it looks like a greyhound bus broke down in front of a indian casino next to methadone clinic on the mexican border.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Denfro Licious, 26 May 2006 @ 2:45pm

    Ha

    Hah! Good one, but I work with those types of people every day... They're called "Software Engineers"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sean, 26 May 2006 @ 6:08pm

    I agree

    I agree with Post #4. If this site catches on, it's just a matter of time before they change it to up the prices, or just set one high, fucked price that you have to take out a small loan just to fly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Vickrey, 26 May 2006 @ 10:08pm

    Arbitrage

    Simple Econ 101 guys. The airlines have figured out better ways to price discriminate -- to try to extract as much revenue as possible from each type of consumer with things like Saturday night stayovers and other devices to charge a different price to each consumer market segment. This fills up planes, and in that sense is efficient, but it typically means the average consumer pays more (while some people on the lower end get to pay less in exchange for awkward flight times and cramped seats).

    Yes, these people are a new intermediary, but an intermediary aiming to make money by disrupting the airlines' game. This is most likely good for this intermediary and good for the consumer (they'll split the consumer surplus that they are able to take back from the airlines).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Leion, 26 May 2006 @ 11:19pm

    fuel charge

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Leion, 26 May 2006 @ 11:20pm

    fuel charge

    I cannot understand why the need to pay for fuel when I do not pay for those when I travel on bus or train.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dan, 26 May 2006 @ 11:48pm

    of course you pay for fuel on the bus or train. Public transportation in chicago has increased dramatically in the past few months. and it's still going up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    m amous, 27 May 2006 @ 3:49am

    post #5 lol that's %100 true i face that thing every week where'r the blonde girls we used to see or sit beside i now pray every week i have an empty seat beside

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 May 2006 @ 5:42am

    It is true...airline flights are not free giveaways donated by the goodness of of rich people.

    It is actually part of a (sometimes odd) business model. Yup, believe it or not these airlines actually expect to make money carrying people around in airplanes...sounds weird doesn't it.

    "Airline tickets cost 40% less than they did 25 years ago."

    And not only are you paying for the higher cost of fuel...you are even paying for labor, and the material required to operate aircraft...heck you are even paying for the aircraft themselves.

    I know...in a perfect world fuel would be eco-friendly and free...and people would work for free...but that just isn't the case.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Stuart MacDonald, 27 May 2006 @ 5:43am

    "Farecast, a Seattle-based travel start-up, is in private beta. I was invited to try it out, and I did. On the whole, it's pretty good - but I am fearful that beyond the relatively small amount of whiz-bang buzz their "hook" adds, they are really just another meta-search site. Albeit a clean..."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    blahblahblah, 27 May 2006 @ 9:34am

    What If You Could See Airline Pricing Algorithms?

    The link I clicked on said "What If You Could See Airline Pricing Algorithms?", and I ended up here instead.
    Yes, everyone, it's another story of the the American Dream in progress. Find the niche, take advantage of it for as long as humanly possible, then sell it for loads of money to some "college only" educated scruff right before it's not worth anything.

    Still looking for the ALGORITHMS...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    blahblahblah, 27 May 2006 @ 9:34am

    What If You Could See Airline Pricing Algorithms?

    The link I clicked on said "What If You Could See Airline Pricing Algorithms?", and I ended up here instead.
    Yes, everyone, it's another story of the the American Dream in progress. Find the niche, take advantage of it for as long as humanly possible, then sell it for loads of money to some "college only" educated scruff right before it's not worth anything.

    Still looking for the ALGORITHMS...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bob, 27 May 2006 @ 11:05am

    Overall more people on planes is better for everyo

    The bad bit about is that you don;t feel like you get predictable pricing, but overall it's better for everyone if more people use planes, as it reduces the total cost overall in the long run. I know the long run doesn't help your wallet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 May 2006 @ 6:01pm

    subject

    bullshit

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Notsofast, 28 May 2006 @ 4:46am

    farecast

    Seems to me like some of the comments here are a bit quick to judge:

    1. How is farecast an intermediary? they are just giving us information!

    2. if the airlines change their prices or change their algorithms, won't farecast just change their predictions. If you click on "look under the hood" you see they are using their own algorithms that adapt to change!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    William James, 28 May 2006 @ 9:22am

    Low Airfares

    Anonymous Coward, you're quite right. Everyone wants something for nothing in our society, like the government needs to step in to ensure everything is affordable. God forbid that some industry can make a profit. Flying is still, very affordable in our society.

    Have you people seen how many airlines have gone out of business in the past three decades, or do you have amnesia??? The fact that a broader audience flies today is indicated by what Anonymous Coward stated earilier....a sketchy bunch of people is right. It does look more like a Greyhond Bus crowd than ever before.

    What torques me off more than anything, is finding out how people break the code in getting the bulkhead seats or exit rows everytime I try to get them from the counter. I'm six feet five and can use the leg room. Usually I find some freakin' Vietnamese family spread out across the whole row. Or some lardass ladies taking it over. Get a clue people, the extra space in "FRONT TO BACK"....it's called knee room, having a big fuckin' ASS will be crowded no matter where you park that trunk. There...damn, it's feels better to get that one off my chest. Cheers.

    Bill

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      dave, 29 May 2006 @ 11:27am

      Re: Low Airfares

      Some find comfort in their ass pains by causing other's discomfort. And its fun to be able to swing your legs!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 May 2010 @ 2:18am

      Re: Low Airfares

      Bill you're a jackass. I'm sure your 6" 5' cloud of ball must that forms when you spread your plucked chicken legs really makes for great travel too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2006 @ 2:32pm

    crybabies

    My heart just bleeds for the six-five fella whining about his knee room.

    Life handed you a freebie, buddy. Six-five means you got all kind of advantages, from babes, to pay raises, to not getting pushed around by the six-two guys. The least thing you can do is suck it up and not cry about the one time your god-given fortune actually causes you a touch of discomfort.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paul, 30 May 2006 @ 10:06pm

    what's wrong with meta search sites?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paul, 30 May 2006 @ 10:09pm

    what's wrong with meta search sites?

    "but I am fearful that beyond the relatively small amount of whiz-bang buzz their "hook" adds, they are really just another meta-search site."

    Are you saying there's already a plethora of meta-search sites for airfare. I can see that, but I'm not aware of any others that try to predict prices.

    I'm hoping to score some Red Sox/Yankes tix for late August, and have had no luck with finding a meta-search site. I'd rather not have to visit each of some twenty-some broker sites in my search. Anyone know of one?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2006 @ 2:45pm

    How is it so hard to find the prices of tickets without booking right then. I just want an estimate on what i would pay, not book the first flight on the firstairline i find.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Peter, 19 Jun 2007 @ 10:47am

    Airline Pricing

    What good does it do to try and figure out the randomness of airlines. We need to have a way to lock in better pricing. www.Intellifares.com is a web site that promises to be able to do that. I have been waiting to see if they can fulfill. By fixing the cost of flying long term it definitely eases your mind.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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