Should you wait till noon before you book an air ticket that is not on sale?

Airlines compete with each other for market share and revenue and hence it is only natural for them to adjust their prices based on their competitors’.

SpiceJet offer on Feb 1st:

On the 1st of February 2017, SpiceJet started a fare sale with tickets starting Rs. 888. Even though it came as a surprise to our fare sale prediction algorithm, it was a genuine offer when compared to the pre-sale prices as we discussed in our SpiceJet offer analysis post. Somewhere before noon on the 1st Feb, Indigo too matched the sale and came up with its own Rs. 888 offer. Had you booked an Indigo flight early morning on 1st Feb, you would have missed out on the sale!

SpiceJet offers extension:

The SpiceJet fare sale was initially set to end on 5th Feb 2017. On 6th Feb morning, Indigo pulled up its fares to pre-offer levels but SpiceJet extended its offer till 7th Feb 2017. Once again, Indigo reacted to this offer extension by pulling down the fares and extending its earlier offer of Rs. 888 sometime before noon yesterday. Again, just like the case on 1st Feb, had you booked an Indigo flight early morning on 6th Feb, you would have missed out on the sale extension!

Remember, Indigo was on a sale from 26th to 29th Jan 2017. SpiceJet during this period was on a low fare band but not on an announced fare sale.

Our take on this trend:

Any time you observe a fare sale by a particular airline, it is prudent to expect a reactionary sale from the competitors. So if you are booking a flight that is currently not on offer (because say, the route that you want to fly is not serviced by the airline that is on offer), it is good to just wait till noon to check if your airline does a reactionary price drop.

Remember, this will be applicable only during 1st or 2nd day of an offer by any airline. Beyond the 2nd day, you may accept that the airline of your choice has taken a decision not to match the offer in the market. Also, if you are booking a flight on an airline that is on sale, there is no better time than early morning!

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