Flight Price Comparison Sites

Hey Guys

So I want to book tickets to fly to Tokyo during the Christmas period. Few days ago I did a search on Kayak. It produced a list of options with a recommendation of 'Waiting' (presumably this meant that there was a chance of prices falling). A price of $1250 from Royal Brunei caught my eye but I waited just to lock in a few things before making the booking.

Do the same search today and the same flight is $1560. Same recommendation to Wait.

Does anyone have any experience with these sites in terms of the prices falling against a recommendation to WAIT?




    Christmas period is often the most expensive time of year to fly. Not sure waiting will help, as holiday time / peak period flights don't go on sale. Price algorithms are programmed to increase as date approaches and seats sell.

    If you go one month earlier Cathay has some return flights for $600.


    Japan rarely has holidays (in direct comparison to Australia) and during Christmas is one of those rare times. It is busy and expensive for internal travel and accommodation during that period, as people traditionally return home to spend time with their families. More new year than Christmas, but the period between makes for time off work and travel time.
    Its cold.
    Good luck with your flights and holiday.


    Yeah, I'm not surprised as having kids in school it's usually the time we travel as a family.

    My question is more around the volatility of the prices. Do they fall as well as rise during this time?

    • +1 vote

      They go up and down. It's all in the algorithm and depends on the seats sold, how many enquiries and 100 other variables.

      I was at work drinks (Qantas IT 1999) and chatting to a guy in Forward Pricing (whatever it's called). He had a degree in physics and a doctorate in pure mathematics. I asked him how it worked and even the "Forward Pricing for Dummies" version had my head spinning so we switched to football talk. I'm sure in the ensuing 20 years it's become even more sophisticated in its execution.

      In the back of my mind I recall something that the cookie tracking will give you a higher price if you don't buy on your first visit but this is likely an urban myth.

      my suggestion is that if you think the price looks fair then take it.

  • +1 vote

    Always check flight prices using ibcognito mode


    I've found the "price fluctuation" a fallacy. The only direction I have seen prices go is upwards.
    I've done lots of travelling & often browse sites like Kayak, skyscanner, iwantthatflight just to see what I can get.

    Various destinations, various times (of travel, and when searching).
    Invariably the first time I search, it's the cheapest.
    And yes, I've tried clearing the browser cache and browsing in incognito mode/private window or whatever your fave browser calls it.
    I have even tried different devices.

    Whatever the secret algorithm is, somehow it always increases.


    For comparison sake, Ive been to japan 8 times in 11 years, with only 1 year traveling in May, others in December. In fact going again this year, and again next.

    latest ive booked was in August of that year, for December travel came to $1800+ for economy. And that was direct Sydney to Tokyo too. so for $1600 in Nov seems ok to me.

    But agreed with what others said. Japan does not shut for christmas holiday, infact its even more lively to go during that time. Just be prepared to be sick of Last Christmas or a certain Mariah Carey song on loop. English christmas songs played everywhere.


    The norm is for prices to rise over time (particularly the last 2 weeks, which is prime period for business bookings). It only ever drops for sales events or if revenue predicton misses targets for whatever reason.

    Eg, the HK protests is causing havoc on the algorithms right now.


    Prices for Japan will always be higher when exAustralia in School Holidays.
    They never go down as prices are released with base fare and increase when the yield is reached.

    Add on the fact that mid - late December is snow season in Japan - prices will increase as availably decreases.

    Cheapest time for Japan is Summer (in japan) due to the heat.

    There are 2 ways to get a cheaper ticket

    1/ go with a discount carrier - Jetstar/Air Asia
    2/ look for multi-stop - Via Phillipines, China, Malaysia.

    People pay for speed and service and removing those two things will make your airfare cheaper

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