Why has the price of my flight changed?

When choosing a flight, the price has increased and you want to know why?

We reflect the prices reported to us by our suppliers: if the price increases on Swile Business Travel, it is because the price of the ticket has really increased. It is therefore impossible to book it at the original price.

1. Why is this?

It is expensive for air ticket search engines to ask airlines for real time ticket prices. Since the beginning of the Covid crisis, they sometimes only do this a few times an hour.

If another user did the same search as you 10 minutes ago, the search engine will not ask for the price twice: it will give you the price it got 10 minutes ago, assuming it has not changed.

If you are reading this article, it has changed.

2. Let's take an example:

9.18am: Arthur wants to buy a Paris-Madrid ticket on November 12th. He does a search on Swile. Our system queries the suppliers.

Supplier 1 (F1) must therefore give the price of the Paris-Madrid trips on November 12th. However, he does not know them. He therefore queries the airlines likely to transport Arthur. He receives an answer from the company: the 6.15am flight costs 123€. The supplier sends the price to Swile Business Travel who displays this price to Arthur, who confirms his trip.

9.30 am: A group of tourists (foreign to Swile Business Travel) wants to go to Madrid on November 12th. Through a travel agency, they book 40 seats on the 6.15am flight. The flight is almost full. The price of a seat goes from 123€ to 500€ (this is yield management).

9.45am: Claude, Arthur's colleague, connects to Swile Business Travel and makes a search for November 12th. Our system asks our suppliers for prices (as usual).

F1 recognises a request that they processed a short time ago (Paris-Madrid on November 12th). It costs F1 a lot of money to ask the company for the price of the flight. Moreover, the flight is a long time away, and is unlikely to have changed price. Rather than update the price, F1 tells Swile Business Travel that the price is still 123€.

Claude then chooses this flight.

Swile then asks the supplier: "We will most likely book this flight, can you give us the exact price, in real time?

The supplier asks the company and they tell him the new price: 500€.

F1 tells Swile Business Travel that the price is now 500€. Our system therefore displays it.

Claude: bad luck, the price has increased.

  • Can we do anything to buy the ticket at the original price of 123€? No.
  • Can we find a better price than 500€ on the market? No.
  • Did you find the ticket at €123 on another website? You will probably be disappointed if you go through with the order: this €123 ticket no longer exists and is no longer available for sale. The people who offer it are victims of the same phenomenon, and will sooner or later have to update the price with the company and tell you that it has increased.
  • Finally, does Swile Business Travel use IP tracking, that dishonest practice that changes the price of the ticket according to the person consulting it? No, it does not.

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