Price trends for flights going back years

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Comments

  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,317 Forumite
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    Westin said:
    Are the flights between the UK and Marrakesh that volatile in pricing fluctuations?  With RyanAir, EasyJet, TUI, Jet2 all flying to RAK I would have thought a reasonably suitable fare was always available.   If you see a price you like just book it.
    Pretty much the cheapest time to book a flight is when they are first available and prices will only creep up over time - there will be the occasional discount and offer so if I knew for example that I wanted to fly Wizz Air I would wait for one of their 15% off everything deals but yes the biggest determinant of price is going to be the dates you want to fly on so find dates that work for you at a reasonable price and book them. 

    I doubt historical data is going to give much away as most of the pricing models are going to be dynamic and algorithm based anyway. 


    Since when? Skyscanner's data pre-pandemic showed that for flights to typical tourist destinations prices generally fell till a week or two before departure and then rose. Maybe things have changed since then, but I doubt it. I've had some incredibly cheap deals post pandemic booking late.

  • tightauldgit
    tightauldgit Posts: 2,628 Forumite
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    zagfles said:
    Westin said:
    Are the flights between the UK and Marrakesh that volatile in pricing fluctuations?  With RyanAir, EasyJet, TUI, Jet2 all flying to RAK I would have thought a reasonably suitable fare was always available.   If you see a price you like just book it.
    Pretty much the cheapest time to book a flight is when they are first available and prices will only creep up over time - there will be the occasional discount and offer so if I knew for example that I wanted to fly Wizz Air I would wait for one of their 15% off everything deals but yes the biggest determinant of price is going to be the dates you want to fly on so find dates that work for you at a reasonable price and book them. 

    I doubt historical data is going to give much away as most of the pricing models are going to be dynamic and algorithm based anyway. 


    Since when? Skyscanner's data pre-pandemic showed that for flights to typical tourist destinations prices generally fell till a week or two before departure and then rose. Maybe things have changed since then, but I doubt it. I've had some incredibly cheap deals post pandemic booking late.

    I've booked dozens of flights in the past few years and never seen them go down in price significantly - they only ever creep up as the seats fill unless there is something like a sale on. Maybe we are talking about different things though - I don't generally go to 'typical tourist destinations' if by that you mean Majorca, Ibiza, Costa Del Sol, Algarve, etc. Is Marrakech a 'typical tourist destination'? The only way I would see prices going down is if there is an oversupply of seats on the route, which with a general tightening of everything post COVID doesn't seem like it's going to be a common problem.
  • NoodleDoodleMan
    NoodleDoodleMan Posts: 3,337 Forumite
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    edited 1 December 2023 at 1:39PM
    To be honest, the pandemic has messed up the travel industry so much that I doubt there would be much value in looking at historic price trends.


    Yes, a poIntless exercise IMO - I remember when it was 5/- (25 pence) to get into the football - now you need a bank loan !!!

  • maman
    maman Posts: 28,564 Forumite
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    Another thing to consider is that while a flight may seem reasonably priced, what does seem to have escalated is the add ons. I'm only going from memory but the price of luggage, for example, seems to be huge these days. That's fine for a short trip which I can manage with hand luggage but not for a longer trip. 
  • tightauldgit
    tightauldgit Posts: 2,628 Forumite
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    maman said:
    Another thing to consider is that while a flight may seem reasonably priced, what does seem to have escalated is the add ons. I'm only going from memory but the price of luggage, for example, seems to be huge these days. That's fine for a short trip which I can manage with hand luggage but not for a longer trip. 
    And as I am discovering lately airlines are getting tighter and tighter on hand luggage all the time - shrinking the sizes of the bags and at least out here in Asia a 7kg carry on limit seems to be the new standard on the budget airlines (and my bag was weighed at KL airport to enforce it) so it does become an issue. I'm rapidly downsizing the clothes and stuff I'm carrying with me on my travels because it really doesn't make sense to be paying £30-50 per trip to be carrying t-shirts that would cost a couple of quid each to replace. I'm glad I never buy expensive clothing really. 
  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,317 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Chutzpah Haggler
    zagfles said:
    Westin said:
    Are the flights between the UK and Marrakesh that volatile in pricing fluctuations?  With RyanAir, EasyJet, TUI, Jet2 all flying to RAK I would have thought a reasonably suitable fare was always available.   If you see a price you like just book it.
    Pretty much the cheapest time to book a flight is when they are first available and prices will only creep up over time - there will be the occasional discount and offer so if I knew for example that I wanted to fly Wizz Air I would wait for one of their 15% off everything deals but yes the biggest determinant of price is going to be the dates you want to fly on so find dates that work for you at a reasonable price and book them. 

    I doubt historical data is going to give much away as most of the pricing models are going to be dynamic and algorithm based anyway. 


    Since when? Skyscanner's data pre-pandemic showed that for flights to typical tourist destinations prices generally fell till a week or two before departure and then rose. Maybe things have changed since then, but I doubt it. I've had some incredibly cheap deals post pandemic booking late.

    I've booked dozens of flights in the past few years and never seen them go down in price significantly - they only ever creep up as the seats fill unless there is something like a sale on. Maybe we are talking about different things though - I don't generally go to 'typical tourist destinations' if by that you mean Majorca, Ibiza, Costa Del Sol, Algarve, etc. Is Marrakech a 'typical tourist destination'? The only way I would see prices going down is if there is an oversupply of seats on the route, which with a general tightening of everything post COVID doesn't seem like it's going to be a common problem.

    Skyscanner still have a tool although it's not as useful as their previous one:
    Seems to vary massively by month for London-Marrakesh, some months 9 weeks before, others 23 weeks!

  • basill
    basill Posts: 1,390 Forumite
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    The Hopper app appears to use historical data to advise buy or wait on flights and I think hotels.   
    It's very keep to get you to book or reserve deals on the app but I would always recommend just to use it as a guide and buy direct
  • tightauldgit
    tightauldgit Posts: 2,628 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    zagfles said:
    zagfles said:
    Westin said:
    Are the flights between the UK and Marrakesh that volatile in pricing fluctuations?  With RyanAir, EasyJet, TUI, Jet2 all flying to RAK I would have thought a reasonably suitable fare was always available.   If you see a price you like just book it.
    Pretty much the cheapest time to book a flight is when they are first available and prices will only creep up over time - there will be the occasional discount and offer so if I knew for example that I wanted to fly Wizz Air I would wait for one of their 15% off everything deals but yes the biggest determinant of price is going to be the dates you want to fly on so find dates that work for you at a reasonable price and book them. 

    I doubt historical data is going to give much away as most of the pricing models are going to be dynamic and algorithm based anyway. 


    Since when? Skyscanner's data pre-pandemic showed that for flights to typical tourist destinations prices generally fell till a week or two before departure and then rose. Maybe things have changed since then, but I doubt it. I've had some incredibly cheap deals post pandemic booking late.

    I've booked dozens of flights in the past few years and never seen them go down in price significantly - they only ever creep up as the seats fill unless there is something like a sale on. Maybe we are talking about different things though - I don't generally go to 'typical tourist destinations' if by that you mean Majorca, Ibiza, Costa Del Sol, Algarve, etc. Is Marrakech a 'typical tourist destination'? The only way I would see prices going down is if there is an oversupply of seats on the route, which with a general tightening of everything post COVID doesn't seem like it's going to be a common problem.

    Skyscanner still have a tool although it's not as useful as their previous one:
    Seems to vary massively by month for London-Marrakesh, some months 9 weeks before, others 23 weeks!

    Yeah I'm not sure how great that tool is if it has such a wide variance - presumably it is based on actual bookings rather than tracking prices quoted? If so then it would probably (?) be skewed by when people typically book regardless and if not then it's not really clear the data is reliable.  

    As I said I don't think the airline algorithms are that easily predicted and I'm not sure that knowing when would have been the best time to book last year really tells you much about when the best time to book this year will be. 

    It's also worth bearing in mind that if you are talking about a £45 flight to Lisbon then while you might save £10 waiting you might well end up having to pay double or triple or quadruple if you wait too long and the seats start selling out. 

    My own little process for finding flights is first to just kind of familiarise myself with the general price of flights at the rough time i'm looking to travel and get a feel for if that's relatively high or low for the year. Then have a poke about and see if there is anyone undercutting that general price. Then once i've found what looks to be the best priced dates, airline, route etc i'll work out why its less (is there a limited time sale on?) and just keep an eye on the price for a bit and see if it's stable. Sometimes you'll get quoted more for a flight on a Sunday night than a Monday afternoon so I just keep an eye on it for a bit unless there's a real need to act quick. Once I'm reasonably confident that's the best price I'm going to get and works for me I just go for it. Google flights is a boon for all this. Easiest thing in the world now to just say 'i wanna go to asia in spring' and within 5 minutes have worked out that the cheapest route is via HK in March and staying for three weeks whereas going to Tokyo in April for two weeks might be three times the price. 

    I realise not everyone has the flexibility to do it but in my experience you will save a LOT more by route and date shopping than trying to predict the price fluctuations. And if you are in the case of absolutely having to go to location X on dates A B and C then it's also risky to hold off booking something that looks decent in the hope you'll get an even better deal later. 
  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,317 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Chutzpah Haggler
    zagfles said:
    zagfles said:
    Westin said:
    Are the flights between the UK and Marrakesh that volatile in pricing fluctuations?  With RyanAir, EasyJet, TUI, Jet2 all flying to RAK I would have thought a reasonably suitable fare was always available.   If you see a price you like just book it.
    Pretty much the cheapest time to book a flight is when they are first available and prices will only creep up over time - there will be the occasional discount and offer so if I knew for example that I wanted to fly Wizz Air I would wait for one of their 15% off everything deals but yes the biggest determinant of price is going to be the dates you want to fly on so find dates that work for you at a reasonable price and book them. 

    I doubt historical data is going to give much away as most of the pricing models are going to be dynamic and algorithm based anyway. 


    Since when? Skyscanner's data pre-pandemic showed that for flights to typical tourist destinations prices generally fell till a week or two before departure and then rose. Maybe things have changed since then, but I doubt it. I've had some incredibly cheap deals post pandemic booking late.

    I've booked dozens of flights in the past few years and never seen them go down in price significantly - they only ever creep up as the seats fill unless there is something like a sale on. Maybe we are talking about different things though - I don't generally go to 'typical tourist destinations' if by that you mean Majorca, Ibiza, Costa Del Sol, Algarve, etc. Is Marrakech a 'typical tourist destination'? The only way I would see prices going down is if there is an oversupply of seats on the route, which with a general tightening of everything post COVID doesn't seem like it's going to be a common problem.

    Skyscanner still have a tool although it's not as useful as their previous one:
    Seems to vary massively by month for London-Marrakesh, some months 9 weeks before, others 23 weeks!

    Yeah I'm not sure how great that tool is if it has such a wide variance - presumably it is based on actual bookings rather than tracking prices quoted? If so then it would probably (?) be skewed by when people typically book regardless and if not then it's not really clear the data is reliable.  

    As I said I don't think the airline algorithms are that easily predicted and I'm not sure that knowing when would have been the best time to book last year really tells you much about when the best time to book this year will be. 

    It's also worth bearing in mind that if you are talking about a £45 flight to Lisbon then while you might save £10 waiting you might well end up having to pay double or triple or quadruple if you wait too long and the seats start selling out. 

    My own little process for finding flights is first to just kind of familiarise myself with the general price of flights at the rough time i'm looking to travel and get a feel for if that's relatively high or low for the year. Then have a poke about and see if there is anyone undercutting that general price. Then once i've found what looks to be the best priced dates, airline, route etc i'll work out why its less (is there a limited time sale on?) and just keep an eye on the price for a bit and see if it's stable. Sometimes you'll get quoted more for a flight on a Sunday night than a Monday afternoon so I just keep an eye on it for a bit unless there's a real need to act quick. Once I'm reasonably confident that's the best price I'm going to get and works for me I just go for it. Google flights is a boon for all this. Easiest thing in the world now to just say 'i wanna go to asia in spring' and within 5 minutes have worked out that the cheapest route is via HK in March and staying for three weeks whereas going to Tokyo in April for two weeks might be three times the price. 

    I realise not everyone has the flexibility to do it but in my experience you will save a LOT more by route and date shopping than trying to predict the price fluctuations. And if you are in the case of absolutely having to go to location X on dates A B and C then it's also risky to hold off booking something that looks decent in the hope you'll get an even better deal later. 
    Skyscanner's tool is almost certainly be based on searches not bookings. Every flight route has probably been searched on skyscanner at various periods in advance of the flight date. So just those records will give a good idea, and based on thousands of searches, rather than just one individual's experience. 
    But the other point is that it's based on the price for a particular flight route/date. So if you decide you want to travel to Marrakesh on 10th Sept the optimum time to book it would be around early July (9 weeks ahead) according to skyscanner. However if you're flexible on destination, you could just look at where you can get cheap flights to a couple of weeks in advance, then if prices to Marrakesh have gone up, you could instead go somewhere else where prices have gone down. There's always a cheap flight to somewhere interesting!
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