"Every airline employs a cadre of fare revenue managers. These are the folks who adjust airfares throughout the day, depending on route, season, demand, supply and other factors. They're a notoriously tight-lipped bunch, but, on condition of anonymity, we got one to explain how the fare game works."
Confessions of an Airline Revenue Manager
For those of you in the Boston, south, area we are very flexible. For peak season, we start 330 days out AA from Boston, USAir from Providence. I watch and buy when the prices seem right. I also watch seat availability. If I'm not satisfied, I wait for Jet Blue nonstop.
for quieter times I wait until all flights are open for booking.
There appears to be no rhyme or reason to ticket prices. Our 2014 tickets JB from Boston were each $120 higher than 2013. I have our ticket prices for 8 of the last 11 years and they fluctuate up and down from a low of $416 Ea in 2013 to a high of $536 Ea. for 2004 and this year.
"...On one flight, there could be as many as two dozen different fares based on different factors such as advance purchase or how many days you stay at the destination. The computer knows that, by releasing (for example) 5 seats at a very low price, 10 seats at a slightly higher price and 20 seats at a slightly higher price, it can maximize revenue as the flight fills up. ..."
You can use these pages as a guide to fares and rules for your favorite airline
American Airlines (AA) http://www.cwsi.net/aa.htm
Delta Airlines (DL) http://www.cwsi.net/delta.htm
United Airlines (UA) http://www.cwsi.net/united.htm
US Airways (US) http://www.cwsi.net/usair.htm
I know Delta shows the fare class when you go to select your flight from the schedule and price.
Delta will sometimes also show you how many seats are still available at that fare. This is the reason why many times it is better to purchase tickets separately. If there is only 1 seat left at the lowest fare and you need say 2 seats, the computer will automatically default to the higher fare class for which there are two tickets available. See the attachments.
We fly from Pensacola and fares are over 700 for flight we norm pay 550 or 600
I decided to book our outbound flight because we like an early arrival so we don't lose a day. I have never done one way tickets before. We are waiting until prices come down for return ticket. Is there disadvantage to booking this way. Price?