The day may soon be coming when airlines set their ticket prices based on their knowledge of the budget and habits of individual travellers rather than by route or demand, The Telegraph reports.
Using so-called “dynamic pricing,” airlines could use currently available technology to create detailed profiles of customers’ buying habits, income, age, and other data to set prices for each individual who visits their website to book travel.
Some airlines already are experimenting with dynamic pricing, according to John McBride, director of product management for software company PROS.
“The introduction of a Dynamic Pricing Engine will allow an airline to take a base published fare that has already been calculated based on journey characteristics and broad segmentation, and further adjust the fare after evaluating details about the travellers and current market conditions,” according to a white paper from the Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO).
One possible roadblock to dynamic pricing could be lawsuits by travellers claiming discrimination. Airlines would also have to fully disclose their pricing policies to consumers, said Richard Taylor of the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority.