Pricing/Shopping Tickets

Feb 10th, 2012, 11:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,208
Pricing/Shopping Tickets

Just read a tip from Rick Seaney, CEO of in Travel & Leisure that said it's better to price tickets for 1 (even though 2 people are traveling) and then compare to a quote for 2 because in some cases due to reservations systems price bump up due to limited seat availability you could wind up with a better deal if you then purchase separate tickets on the same flight.

Anyone experience this? Thoughts?
patandhank is offline  
Feb 10th, 2012, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,055
It certainly does happen. Airlines put seats into different fare "buckets" so that on any given flight there may be half a dozen or more fares being used in the coach cabin (and a few more up front.) The cheaper fares will have more stringent advance purchase rules, or different rules on refunds or changes, etc. When a cheap "bucket" sells out, then all subsequent tickets move to the next higher fare bucket. If there is just one seat left in the cheapest, but you ask for 2 tickets, the computers will ignore the cheap seat and book you into the lowest fare for which there are two seats available. (Or if you're trying to buy 4 tickets and there are only 3 available in the cheap bracket, it will sell you all four at the higher price.)

So if you're unlucky to hit it right on the cusp, you could end up paying more overall. It's not super frequent, but, as I said, it certainly happens.

Note when you buy multiple seats separately, they will each have their own record locator. If you are picking seats, you'll have to pick them separately, and each passenger will need to check in separately, etc.
Gardyloo is online now  
Feb 11th, 2012, 02:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,049
I once bought tickets through one of the third-party sites, Expedia, or Orbitz, etc., (I've forgotten which). It turned out the two tickets were in different classes; one earned miles, one didn't. It took me months of whining with the airline over how they decided my wife got the miles and I didn't until they had pity on me and gave me the miles. The terms and conditions on the third party site did not make clear what I was buying, although I thought it did. Since then I buy direct from the airlines, and I buy two tickets, as its too easy to make a mistake and find yourselves on different flights. I don't think the possible savings from hyper shopping are worth the potential aggravation.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Feb 12th, 2012, 03:36 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Rick has a tonne of great tips like this I always book this way preferrably on a Tues when everyone matches each others sales. Happy shopping!
qwovadis is offline  
Feb 12th, 2012, 09:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,148
I do that every time. Once, it paid off when I got a lower total price was lower by buying two Air NZ tix separately instead of buying them together.

I also do something similar with hotels - check the rate for the entire stay and then check each individual night. This is important to do if you might want to use hotel points (or points+cash in the case of Sheratons).

In November, I had a 4-night stay at a hotel made up from 3 reservations.
mrwunrfl is offline  

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