How airlines sell unsold seats or do they really have to sell unsold flight tickets?

There is simply no denying the fact that it is absolutely important for the airline to sell as many seats or flight tickets as possible. Simply because there are so many fixed costs like employees, aircraft, IT system, and airport facility fees, the airline just cannot afford to fly on empty seats. Hence, there are high chances that the airline will lower fares if there is limited demand on that route. And, this is one secret that the airlines will never tell you.

It is also fair to say that the airline’s language spreads more confusion and frustration to the travellers because flight prices change constantly. And, it is absolutely crazy to understand airfares found one day so often is different from the next.

As your best travel agency in London, UK we thought its time to share our knowledge and make you understand this algorithm &  with you so that you can always book flight tickets at the best price possible.

But how to determine in advance if there will be a decrease in the airfare? Airfare fluctuates, and if there is a high demand on a certain route, the airline in most likely case increases their fare exponentially.

So, what could be the sure shot way to predict future discounts on empty seats?

In this article, we will make everything simpler for you and make you understand how airlines sell unsold seats unsold inventory & secrets recipe for booking the cheapest flight tickets.

Tips to find out empty seats on the flight  

1. Check with a specialized travel agent

So, the best way to find out exactly how many seats are left on the flight is to book through a travel agent. Or, in some cases, directly with the airline. However, we always suggest you book your flight through a travel agency. Because you have to go through certain steps before you can see which seats on the plane are actually available.

Travel agents use the airline’s GDS (Global Distribution Seat) system which does confirm the load or number of seat airlines still have to sell. Travel agents are the first point of call for airlines to sell unsold seats.

For instance, if half the seats are taken three weeks out, they assume the plane is under capacity and likely to see a fare reduction. And, you yourself, as a flier might not be able to predict it right. Hence, you need an experienced travel agent that specializes in flight ticket bookings.

how airlines sell unsold seats

2. Which aircraft or airplane is in use

It’s one of the least researched subjects to know how airlines sell unsold seats. Airlines work on the average cost of minimum selling price for the whole airplane for each sector and this is what drives the average selling cost. Economy seats set the benchmark cost for each seat and simple formula of 2.5x to 3.5x seats the tone for unsold business class seats or premium economy seats. In addition to this airport have extra taxes for flying business class or on premium economy.

As you are aware they are majorly two aircraft makers which most airlines use, Boeing & Airbus. It’s very easy to know how many seats your airlines have to sell even before you book flight tickets in the same sector or check the below stats.

Most popular airplanes airlines use nowadays?
They are either made by Boeing Dreamliner or Airbus A380

How many seats does Dreamliner have?
Depends on which sector but most Dreamliner will have 242 to 316 passenger seats, in addition, to jump seats for crew members.

How many seats does A380 have?
A380 is configured to have a maximum of 868 seats. The upper deck is usually the full business of around 330 seats & the lower deck of 538 all economy seats.

how airlines sell unsold seats

3. When you book yourself

This can get a little tricky but you can try. First, make sure that the website you are booking on gives you an option to see the seat map. It might not because of security reasons.

We will give you a tip if you plan on booking yourself.

When you are searching for unsold seats for your flight, make sure that you put the number of passengers as more than 1. If those number of seats are available, it will show you if there are enough seats left on the flight otherwise it won’t just show up.

You can use www.Flightspro.co.uk which lets you put up to 8 passengers. Here you can get an idea as to how many seats are left on the flight and make predictions.

how airlines sell unsold seats

4. Book seats on the different reservation or possibly at different timings

We have seen this working some times that you at least book all the tickets on different reservation numbers. You may not sit all together but there is a high possibility of getting lower fares.

5. Group Flight Booking

Make a group reservation. You need to tell your travel agent that you are making a group flight booking because this way you actually get discounts, extra tickets, and easy payment plans which surely airlines does not give or deal directly with the passengers.

One old school formula, airlines used to give 1 seat free on every 9 seats sold. In the year 2020 or beyond it may (or may not) work – You don’t ask you don’t get!

6. Travel Agent is still an airline’s best friend to sell their empty seats.

Yes, absolutely. Travel agents work on airlines targets and if airlines have unsold seats travel agents are incentivized to sell the empty seats for the airlines.

As much as the thought of going “direct to airlines will fetch cheaper seats” is not always right, travel agents are the first people to know the cheapest possible cost for the unsold seats for airlines.

how airlines sell unsold seats

7. Whilst you shop Economy Seats!

Whilst you shop for Economy Seats do check one-way Premium Economy and one-way Economy seats. Most airlines do not disclose this for many reasons but it is possible and more often a higher class combination with economy class can come the same fare or maybe marginally expensive. Try this rule in higher seasons and thank us later.

8. Capacity Changes or why airlines have schedule changes?

Look for announcements of upcoming changes or if aircraft has been changed by existing carriers. Since there will be a change in capacity. And, this could only mean more seats. Unfortunately, this information is only shared with customers once flight tickets are issued.

9. Book Low-cost carriers.

Ryan Air or Easyjet is one of the most client-driven rather than travel agent-driven airlines. Yes some benefits going direct but you do not have any leg to stand in case of eventualities.

How Airlines Sell Unsold Seats

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    Disclaimer : We are not an airline but provide most of the negotiated airlines deals which more often than not are cheaper than booking direct with the airlines. We are in true essence a travel agent who save your valuable time & efforts and arrange your travel arrangements as per your needs and in your budget.
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    How Airlines Sell Unsold Seats - Last Minute Travel Secrets

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