Airline pricing is strange

While planning our holiday to al-Andalus during my wife’s Easter break (starting later this week), we explored different options for flights from different destinations in al-Andalus to Barcelona before we confirmed our itinerary.

As it turned out, it was cheapest (by a long way) to take a flight back from Malaga to Barcelona on Good Friday (meaning we were “wasting” three days of Priyanka’s vacation – which we were okay with), and so we’ve booked that.

Now, Vueling (Iberia’s low cost version where we’ve booked our tickets) sends me an email offering credits of €40 per passenger if we could change our flight from Friday to Saturday (one day later). In other words, it turns out now that the demand for Friday flights is so much more than that for the Saturday flight that Vueling is willing to refund more than half the fare we’ve paid so that we can make the change!

I don’t know what kind of models Vueling uses to predict demand but it seems to me now that their forecasts at the time we made our booking (3 weeks back) were a long way off – that they significantly underestimated their demand for Friday and overestimated demand for Saturday! If this is due to an unexpected bulk booking I wouldn’t blame them, else they have some explaining to do!

And “special occasions” such as long weekends, and especially festivals such as Good Friday, are a bitch when it comes to modelling, since you might need to hard code some presets for this, since normal demand patterns will be upset for the entire period surrounding that.

PS: Super excited about the upcoming holiday. We’re starting off touristy, with a day each in Granada and Cordoba. Then some days in Sevilla and some in Malaga. If you have any recommendations of things to do/see/eat in these places, please let me know! Thanks in advance.

2 thoughts on “Airline pricing is strange”

  1. So Seville is great fun. You can go see a flamenco show if you like but also go to the flamenco district at midnight and find a local bar and you might get to see a bunch of random idle issuing singing and dancing which I thought was really amazing! Don’t bother to see the caves in Granada… It’s just people living in caves, but with plumbing and doors and it’s weird to be staring at people’s homes. Though i dunno if it sounds like something you’d like to do… Reserve your ticket to the Alhambra in advance. At least two days but maybe more because it might be a touristy weekend? Each city has a special set of tapas and I remember Cordoba’s were AMAZING. Sadly I don’t remember names :/

Put Comment