Business Travel

Airline Auctions Arrive

Airline Auctions

Airline Auctions

Airlines are known to leave no stone unturned in seeking additional revenue streams (generally referred to as ancillary revenue), especially those with little to no cost. Airline auctions are a new tool being used by airlines to sell upgraded seats to the highest bidder in the days prior to a flight departure. As compared to simply giving such upgrades away to passengers based upon frequent flier status, airline auctions provide an immediate boost to revenues and profits.

Airline Auctions Explained

Premium airline seats often come with extremely high fares, which often results in such seats going unsold. As a result, airlines seek ways to fill these seats, including by offering upgrades to passengers who have purchased economy or other non-premium seats. Airline auctions involve the sale of upgraded seats, which may include first class, business class and premium coach seats. In addition, some airlines have even offered passengers the ability to purchase a seat next to an empty seat, offering what could be termed “neighbor-free” seating. [···]

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Last Minute Air Travel

Last Minute

Last Minute Air Travel

Last minute air travel leads leads to fewer seat options and, typically, higher air fare costs. Almost 1 out of 5 online searches for air travel were for last minute air travel during the 3rd quarter of 2015, according to a recent report.

Last Minute Air Travel Defined

“Last minute” in this context is defined as travel departing within 7 days from the date of booking. Not surprisingly, due to the sometimes uncertain timing for business, business travelers comprise the majority of business travelers. For example, through the first two quarters of 2015, 56% and 73% of all last minute air travel bookings were made by business travelers.

In addition, last minute air travel is primarily made for solo travelers. During the 3rd quarter of 2015, searches for last minute air travel for solo travelers comprised the majority of searches by region: North America (72%); Latin America (71%); Europe (68%); Middle East (75%); and Asia-Pacific (75%).

Last Minute Air Travel Frequency

During the 3rd quarter of 2015, 19% of online searches for airfare in North America were for last minute air travel.  This was higher than the level for the 1st and 2nd quarter, which was 16% and 15%, respectively. [···]

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