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why does price per ticket change due to numbers?

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 314
reviews: 13
why does price per ticket change due to numbers?

hi all,

I have a curiosity question more than anything. looking to maybe go to Thailand at xmas time this year and started checking prices with it being the expensive time to fly normally.

when checking was only using one adult to get a price guide but when I change to 2 or even 3 the price per passenger is different by up to $100 per ticket.

Anyone know why it would be changing depending on number of pax? cheapest per ticket is single, with 2 pax booking the most expensive per ticket and 3 pax in between the 2.

would it be something to do with seating some how? I wouldn't book separate tickets to save a few dollars as may be an issue with travel insurance,but more curious than anything.

if it matters it is with thai airways that I am looking at using.

if anyone could tell me the reason it would be appreciated.

thank you in advance, alpha

8 replies to this topic
Worthing, United...
posts: 4,844
reviews: 11
1. Re: why does price per ticket change due to numbers?

Hi

It means that there is only one seat left at the lower price. At times like this I book what I can at the lower price then the rest separately.

It happens with all airlines.

Jackie

London, United...
posts: 15,221
reviews: 23
2. Re: why does price per ticket change due to numbers?

Even economy has different fare buckets within it, so what is happening is exactly as jackie says, you are able to access one remaining ticket at one price and then you are moving up to the next price bracket for the next tickets, all in the same cabin class.

UK
posts: 40,490
reviews: 84
3. Re: why does price per ticket change due to numbers?

"buckets" :-)

Prices are in "buckets.

Lets say 20 seats at £500, 20 seats at £600, 20 at £700 and so on.

If in this example, due to some being sold, its 1 seat left at £500, 20 at £600 etc, and you want more than 1, the system sells you all tickets at the higher price. So if you wanted 3 seats, it would sell you 3 at £600, rather than 1 at £500, 2 at £600 (which really there is no excuse for, thats what it "should" be, but they don't do it that way).

As Jackie says the way round this is to buy (using the above example) 1 at £500, 2 at £600. And then phone the airline and link the two booking references together so they know you are a party of 3. Otherwise they might on the day (worst case) bump just the one or the two people bookings if the flight was oversold. Now they would know it was a group of three and would bump all or none.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 314
reviews: 13
4. Re: why does price per ticket change due to numbers?

that was quick, thanks Jackie

that did cross my mind but did dismiss it due to still being 8 months out but your probably right.

does it affect travel insurance in any way if you book on separate tickets though,do you know?

thanks again

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 314
reviews: 13
5. Re: why does price per ticket change due to numbers?

thanks joe that makes perfect sense

cheers alpha

UK
posts: 40,490
reviews: 84
6. Re: why does price per ticket change due to numbers?

No it will not affect travel insurance. You are insured for your travel irrespective whether you bought one flight at a time or all three together, as long as each person has their own insurance or you have a family policy, whatever is appropriate. Using my example, when you came to put your claim in, lets say bad weather caused holiday to be cancelled, you'd just be putting two sets of paperwork in for flights, not one.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 314
reviews: 13
7. Re: why does price per ticket change due to numbers?

thanks once again joe, that's cleared that up.

thanks for your help

cheers

Helsinki, Finland
posts: 502
8. Re: why does price per ticket change due to numbers?

I'd like to add that it's not just price buckets that are changing.

The airlines sell multiple price categories of tickets, this is not usually clearly visible to the buyer unless you know where to look but it affects on other things than price too.

For example for the economy class there might be 8 different so called fare classes, they all have their own quota and price but also differing T&C's. It might be like 3 of the lowest classes are totally non-refundable, two next can be changed by paying an extra fee and only the top 3 are fully flexible and upgradable (for frequent flyers this can be a matter of importance).

Customers can usually choose between the different terms only by choosing class and cheapest/flexible option in the beginning. The selling with either option always starts from the cheapest class that has the required amount of tickets left, and then jumps to the next category until the whole cabin is sold out. The price and terms are defined by the fare class they are offering.

e.g. if Flightstats.com would show available seats for a certain flight like this:

Business: J/9 C/9 D/9 R/1 I/0

any person wanting to buy cheapest business ticket would get R ticket that is discounted, but any two people wanting to buy cheapest business ticket would get the pricier D. It could be that R’s are un-changeble but D’s are not.

So sometimes if you buy two sets of tickets so that you can get one ticket cheaper, you actually get tickets that have differing terms in regards of permitted changes and that is one of the reasons they are not sold mixed.

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