How Big Data and Predictive Analytics are Enabling Travelers Score Cheap Airfare
Updated: Feb 10
If we all just look back into our childhoods, one of our fondest memories would be flying off to a vacation. Today, while travel is a necessity for some for work and business, it’s a time saver for others. But, the excitement to explore new destinations is often marred by how expensive air travel is. In today’s world, which is connecting together through a variety of mediums, traveling by air continues to remain something not everyone can afford.
Over the past few years, a change occurred, coming in as a boon for the flyer. The overall cost of flying has been continually dwindling. This change in price model occurred due to the competition among airlines, and the relatively low price of jet fuel. While this comes as a good news for travelers, scoring the best deals often comes from another source: Big Data. Online marketplaces are leveraging powerful tools of massive databases and predictive analytics to help users score cheaper seats.
Big data in the Air
The amount of fluctuation that the flight prices go through is simply ridiculous. Blink and you might miss some great deals. In a world of ever fluctuating prices, it becomes an arduous task to keep track of cheaper deals and the best time to book flight tickets. Luckily enough, websites like Hopper, Expedia and Skyscanner come to the rescue.
When booking a flight, how many times do you go through various travel websites to compare prices? We keep track of websites faring the cheapest prices for the same flight as compared to a more expensive one. This has become possible because these websites continuously collect data from various sources and keep updating the prices accordingly.
Expedia, for example, is a one-stop travel app taking care of all your travel needs, from hotels, flights, cars etc. Expedia is connected with more than 400 airlines and 231,000 hotels and tries
to offer the best deals to the customers. Expedia and other such travel websites use the big data analytics, where they pull real-time information from various social media and public portals.
This ensures that they are always updated with the latest prices and info and can give out the
Hopper is another brilliant example of clever use of big data, they operate with only one purpose, that is to give passengers the cheapest airfare possible. People select the places they want to go to, and it displays all the prices. If people are unhappy with prices, they can put it to ‘watch’.
The app alerts a person about the moment there is a drop in price and enables people to grab
the most favorable price possible.
Cheapest flight tickets and how?
Data analytics is enabling travelers to score cheap air fare by-
1. Taking the manual search off the table
With big data, everything is now automated. Powerful data analytics tools have the ability to go through thousands information of airlines and flights in an instant, ranking them according to the filters of date, price, time etc. With this new tech, travel agencies have witnessed a massive shift
in operations. Now they are no longer looking for the best price, they are now the travel experts, giving advice and letting customers compare prices and select the one they like best.
2. Predicting price spikes
The website Kayak has a really cool feature for travelers, where it predicts whether you should buy a ticket now or wait for a more favorable time. With the help of big data analysis, the website can analyze the general trend of how prices of a particular flight generally change, according to the time of the year, frequency etc. This is excellent for travelers who need specific travel dates and want cheap air fare.
3. Suggesting new destinations
With more and more travelers looking for non-traditional destinations, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a place which fulfills one’s thirst for travel. Websites like Skyscanner look for the less traveled destinations with cheap air fares to attract the travelers to the best deals for the season.
4. Flight alerts
Hopper uses big data in a clever way; it helps customers looking for a specific destination and
time to buy their tickets at the right time. After going through a ton of information, hoppers alerts customers when the prices for their flights drop and suggest them it’s the right time to buy it or
if the prices are likely to drop further.
5. Personalization and Data Collection
Analytics is a two-way street. While it is helping us get the cheapest prices possible, it is also helping the airlines sell us tickets. By analyzing our own personal data, the airline can get an idea about the types of destinations a person prefers and their purchasing power. Airlines use algorithms to collect info from the websites you frequently visit and the kind of searches you do and then present deals that you find hard to resist.
Applications of big data analytics in the hospitality industry shall be ever thriving. With growing accessibility to better analytics tools, big data will continue to help travelers score cheap airfare.
It will not only benefit the consumers but also opens a huge window of opportunity to optimize one’s travel deals.
For any queries, contact us at Datahut, your big data experts.