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.
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 increase 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 specialised travel agent
So, the best way to find out as to 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 airlines GDS (Global Distribution Seat) system which does confirm the load or number of seats 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 specialises in flight ticket bookings.
2. Which aircraft or air plane is in use
It’s one of the least researched subject to know how airlines sell unsold seats. Airlines work on average cost of minimum selling price for the whole air plane for each sector and this is the what drives the average selling cost. Economy seats sets the bench mark 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. Its very easy to know how many seats your airlines have to sell even before you book flight tickets on the same sector or check the below stats.
Most popular air planes airlines use nowadays?
They are ether made by Boeing Dreamliner or Airbus A380
How many seats does Dreamliner have?
Depends which sector but most dreamliners will have 242 to 316 passengers seats in addition to jump seats for crew members.
How many seats does A380 have?
A380 is configured to have maximum of 868 seats. Upper deck is usually full business of around 330 seats & lower deck of 538 all economy 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:
When you are searching for unsold seats for your flight, make sure that you put the number of passengers 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 that lets you put up to 8 passengers. Here you can get an idea as to how many seats are left in the flight and make predictions.
4. Book seats on 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.
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 year 2020 or beyond it may (or may not) work – You don’t ask you don’t get !
6. Travel Agent is still an airlines best friend to sell their empty seats.
Yes, absolutely. Travel agents work on airlines targets and if airlines have unsold seats travel agents are incentivised to sell the empty seats for the airlines.
As much as thought of going “direct to airlines will fetch a cheaper seats” is not always right, travel agents are the first people to know the cheapest possible cost for the unsold seats for an airlines.
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 same fare or may be 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.