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USAir thanksgiving flight

by the sea
posts: 7
USAir thanksgiving flight

Every year I fly USAir from MHT to FLL for 2 weeks at Thanksgiving. Normally I have to book very early to get good pricing and seats. I’ve been watching the site for 6 months and am surprised that my usual flights are largely empty. The ticket price is nearly $100 more than usual, but still I would expect it to be filled by now. Is this unusual you? Is USAir more likely to cancel the flight or drop the pricing to fill the plane? Normally I would assume that prices go up the closer to the holiday, correct? Although it doesn’t seem prices would rise with lots of empty seats. Or is pricing not rationale? Thank you for your thoughts.

5 replies to this topic
Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 13,465
reviews: 72
1. Re: USAir thanksgiving flight

Hi,

It's not UNcommon for flights to be somewhat emptier ON thanksgiving day itself... They are rather full the days leading up to and just after TD itself.. This tends to be more common on short-haul sectors versus long-haul.

Will a carrier cancel a radically under-sold flight? Maybe... But that's a complex question...

As example, if they do cancel an under-sold flight from A to B, that means there will now be no aircraft arriving in city B... And in many cases that means they'll also have to cancel whatever flight that particular aircraft was going to fly from B to C and so on.. You also have possible crew issues as you might also be out of balance for flight attendants and pilots..

The other part of your question ... Will they drop the price? Maybe... But I think there's also a chance that they may cancel it - largely gone are they days of "fire sales" just to full seats .. Now days carriers are much more attentive to fare levels and will more readily cancel something if it doesn't make financial sense to run it.

If getting to your destination is the #1 issue, I personally wouldn't goof around with Thanksgiving holiday dates ... If you've found something that you like if book it ...

Travel Safe,

by the sea
posts: 7
2. Re: USAir thanksgiving flight

Thank you so much for your kind response. Very helpful!

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
posts: 4,893
3. Re: USAir thanksgiving flight

if you are looking at the seat map, it is a bad indicator of loads. Just because the seat is not assigned does not mean it is not sold. Holiday travel seat maps may look more empty than other days since airlines block large sections for their elite frequent fliers. On a typical Thursday the flight might be 75% frequent fliers that can select those seats in advance. On Thanksgiving, nobody is traveling for business and road warriors tend to avoid travel during holiday week, but those seats remain blocked to non-elites. They just get assigned at checkin.

Fortaleza, CE
posts: 5,952
reviews: 334
4. Re: USAir thanksgiving flight

It used to be true that flights were empty on Thanksgiving and Xmas, but then more people started flying on those days to avoid the crowds the day before. We flew Xmas morning a few years ago, and the flight was full. Odds of emptier flights better in the afternoon of both days. It may make sense to assume airlines would drop prices at the last minute to fill up seats, whether on holidays or other days, but that, alas, is not how any airline I've heard of works (and it does make sense if the airline doesn't want people to wait-- airlines want people to lock in reservations as far in advance as possible).

Edited: 9:31 am, October 03, 2013
Frankln Park PA
posts: 572
reviews: 1
5. Re: USAir thanksgiving flight

I've noticed a very similar pattern occuring PIT to BOS over Thanksgiving with open planes and sky high fares. I think the plane will fill up when people get too twitchy about waiting and pull the trigger on the higher fare. I wish I could be a fly on the wall during their strategy sessions on how to price flights.

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