How much will it cost you to fly from Atlanta to Las Vegas? Don’t bother checking; by the time you do, the price will have already changed. According to a new study from Yapta, the fare for flights between those two cities has changed 2,472,916 times so far this year, or once every six seconds. Better practice hitting that refresh button if you want to get a deal.
Chris Elliott spoke to someone at Yapta (a company that tracks airfares, of course), who told him “pricing is very competitive and therefore more volatile” between certain destinations and that by tracking flights for planned trips way in advance you’re “almost be assured you’ll see a price drop that you can take advantage of.” However, Elliott raises a more fundamental question:
Why is this allowed?
If grocery store prices changed once every six seconds, people would be rioting in the streets. In fact, it’s hard to think of any other consumer product with such volatile prices. Even gas prices don’t change this frequently.
And so I wonder — who is letting this happen, again? And should it be happening?
Good questions, and worthy of some answers. Since it is allowed, though, you may want to keep an eye on prices for the more volatile city pairs. Here are the top 5; the rest are up on Elliott.org.
1. Atlanta (ATL) to Las Vegas (LAS) – 2,472,916 price changes
2. New York (JFK) to Las Vegas (LAS) – 2,412,759 price changes
3. New Jersey (EWR) to Las Vegas (LAS) – 2,377,668 price changes
4. Chicago (ORD) to Las Vegas (LAS) – 2,215,994 price changes
5. New York (JFK) to San Francisco (SFO) – 1,959,873 price changes