Confusing Airline Pricing

If there is a system behind how airlines adjust their fares, it sure is a mystery to me. We are flying to Boston in October for my cousin Erin’s wedding. My dad is flying out with us but staying a few days longer. I worked though some different itineraries, and finally zeroed in on May 4 on a $248 round-trip fare that worked best. I tagged it on Yapta to monitor the price while we waited for my dad to confirm his return date. By the time he decided, the fare had increased to $269 later that evening. It was getting late, so I figured I’d wait until the next morning. I should have held the reservation, but decided not too. Big mistake.

When I logged on the next day, the fare had jumped up to $607.99! For the next few days it alternated between $608 and $607.99. Why would you bother changing the fare for $0.01? Then on May 8, it went up to $627.99 and bounced back and forth between that price and $628. Finally on May 13 it dropped to $448.50, then back to $269 on May 14. I jumped on that and booked our flights.

Good thing too, because on May 16 it jumped back up to $628 where it still is today.

I don’t understand the models they use or their reasoning, but all I know is I’m grateful for Yapta. It has saved me a decent amount of money over the last year. I can’t recommend it enough.