The traveling industry is welcoming Big Data with open arms for they can use it to track traveling trends and determine when they will be the busiest. This type of information allows companies such as Southwest to determine the optimal time to raise prices or offer deals. Depending on the demand for flights during a certain time period, the airline companies can raise prices and be confident that people will still buy purchase them. This is why we are always told to book our flights with plenty of time in advance; the airlines know that those who wait until the last minute to buy a flight are desperate and will pay whatever is necessary.
Airlines look at the big data to determine which days throughout the year tend to be most heavily traveled and which days people prefer not to travel on. The cheapest days to fly are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. These days are less expensive than the others because these are the days people don’t necessarily like to travel on. They are inconvenient and therefore less desirable. More sought after days will cost more money, especially around the holidays. Data has shown that there is the most widespread travel between Thanksgiving and New Years. The holidays are when people take extra time to visit family and loved ones they don’t otherwise get to see. Airlines know this and increase their prices knowing that people won’t put a price on seeing their family for the holidays.
Not only the airline industry can use big data to rake in some extra cash. Consumers can look up the data on when airlines raise and drop flights to save themselves some dough on booking their next travel accommodations. As we are right around the corner from this holiday season, hopefully everyone has been proactive, looked at the data and have scored great prices on their tickets home!