I saw a cheap flight, but when I came back later to book it, the price had increased. Why?
Aaaannnnndddd it's gone! Yes, this can be very frustrating and we’re sorry, but the prices of flights change constantly and in real time. So that super cheap fare can be gone in the blink of an eye.
The explanation? For one thing, flights are sold by travel agencies all over the world, so they’re ‘all after the same thing’. For another thing, airlines use sales techniques such as yield management to maximise their profits from filling their flights. So they raise or lower their prices according to demand, competition and how full their flights are.
Prices can therefore change from one minute to the next, which explains any price differences you may notice. The price may also change between two successive searches. It’s annoying and we sympathise, but it happens to us too ;-(
That's why we would advise you:
1 - To book as far in advance as possible because that's how you get the best prices. The ideal time period is 6-9 months in advance, unless you’re travelling outside school holidays. Please note that some airlines, especially low-cost ones, don't release their seats more than 6 months in advance.
2 - Book straight away if you're happy with the price because it’s not likely to go down. You rarely hit the jackpot by booking a flight less than a week before departure. Sorry, thrill seekers!