How Are Airplane Prices Determined?


Quick Answer

Airplane ticket prices are determined by the price of oil, distance of the flight and timing of purchase. Some other factors to consider when looking at the price of a ticket include competitor prices, food and amenities offered in the flight and government influences.

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Full Answer

One of the biggest factors that influence the cost of an airline ticket is the price of oil. The price of jet fuel greatly changes how much it costs an airplane to fly to different destinations, and it is often the highest expense for individual flights. Since oil prices are rising, this also causes airplane tickets to rise. The distance of the flight also makes a large impact, since this uses more oil and thus costs more to operate the plane.

Many airlines lower their price to keep up with competition. If a specific airline is known for having higher ticket prices and doesn’t offer enough benefits for those higher prices, it knows passengers are bound to look elsewhere. The time of the flight and the time of the purchase can change the cost of an airplane ticket. Tickets purchased shortly before the flight are often more expensive, while tickets purchased months ahead of time are more affordable. There are also days and times with cheaper ticket prices, such as afternoons and Tuesdays being the cheapest days and times.

Flights that occur in the middle of the week and sometimes on Saturdays are less expensive since there is less demand during these days. Fridays, Sundays and Mondays are popular days to fly, so the cost is higher. Flights near holidays also tend to be more expensive.

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