Today (Friday) I was about to book a round trip ticket Mumbai(BOM) - Beijing(PEK) - Mumbai(BOM) via Hong Kong by Cathay Pacific airlines leaving Mumbai on 18th Oct (Saturday) and coming back from Beijing on 27th Oct (Monday). Below is the screenshot from the official website of the said airline showing the price to be INR 57,028 (USD 927.66).
But just out of curiosity i checked what the prices are for an earlier date and I selected the dates to be such that they are the same day as my intended days and with same number of total days i.e leaving Mumbai on 4th Oct (Saturday) and coming back on 13 Oct (Monday). I was thinking that surely this would be at least the same price if not higher and to my surprise the price was significantly lower, it was INR 44,314 (USD 720.85) as seen in the screenshot below.
I had always heard that in general the prices go up as the dates approach your travel date. Off-course there could be fluctuations in the price but you wouldn't expect to see the kind of drop seen above considering that 4th October is tomorrow.
So can I extrapolate this data and assume that on 17th Oct (Friday) the probability that the price for my intended ticket would be around INR 44,314 is higher than the probability that it would be around INR 57,028.
I understand that it would be risky and maybe silly to make such an assumption considering that there are many variables involved in the equation which determines airline price but what would you do? Seeing this data would you wait till the end or just book it right now?
I don't travel international much so maybe its not that unusual to see this kind of drop in prices.
FYI: both the screenshots were taken at 08:55 GMT on Friday, October 3, 2014