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Sudden, Massive Price Hike on Flight

I've been researching a flight plan for my vacation this summer. For weeks, the price stayed relatively stable, ranging from $1650 to $1760. All of a sudden, a couple of days ago, the flight shot up to $2400. I'm freaking out.

Why did this happen? Should I wait to see if the flight price goes back down (and how long should I wait?), or should I look into alternative routes?

Here's the flight info from Google Flights:

Thank you for your help.

Posted by
5586 posts

Yes, wait....Delta sometimes has these jumps. You're flying from a large market so just hang on.

I would try to clear your cookies and search the Delta site on Saturday afternoon or Tuesday AM. Those timings may be folklore, but I'd still try! I think the cookie-clearing thing is also folklore but I always do it with Delta.

Posted by
4739 posts

Please relax. This is like the stock market - tons of ups and downs, including large spikes. Everything is automated and computer algorithms change the prices constantly based on demand, capacity, fuel prices, etc. etc. What you see depends on exactly when you look. Be as flexible as you can and look at all airlines that serve that route - don't stick to one airline.

Posted by
11107 posts

You're traveling to Asia, and I know I'm not alone on the forum at having never done that or shopped for an airline ticket to that region. The comments below come from a not-terribly-useful background.

After I bought it, the ticket for my 2018 trip to Europe bounced repeatedly between almost-$900 and almost-$1400.

If you have watched for quite some time as the fare hovered around $1700 and it has now spiked to over $2400, this may indicate that drops below the $1700 range are very unlikely. There is absolutely no guarantee that a fare will remain the same or even close to the same as you get closer to the departure date.

I also see that you are looking at an outbound non-stop on a route with a lot more connecting flights. Your choice is obviously going to be more popular than the ones involving connections. For European flights I've often observed a widening of the price gap between non-stop flights and connecting flights as the travel date approaches, so I think at this point you should consider the possibility that the fare may not ever come down. I'd be looking at connecting flights and deciding which one or two I liked best, just in case nothing good happens to the non-stop fare in the next two weeks or so.

Posted by
693 posts

The cheapest way to fly nonstop to Asia is to leave from Los Angeles or Toronto. It might be cheaper to fly to one of these cities, stay overnight and continue on to Asia. Another benefit is that you would break up a very long trip.

Posted by
5017 posts

I agree that you have time to wait a bit to see if it goes back down. But, if that makes you nervous and you're willing to give up the non-stop from DC to Seoul and settle for a 1-stop flight that's only 2 hrs longer (total flight time), you can fly on Air Canada with a stop in Toronto each way for around $1400. The inconvenience might be worth $1000 to you.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks for your help, everyone. I'm probably going to keep tracking it for a week. If it doesn't significantly go down from $2400, I'll book the Air Canada flight with the layover both ways.

It's frustrating because I know that as soon as I give up and book the other flight, my original first-choice flight will suddenly drop in price. That's just what always happens to me. But oh well.