Airfare 101

Published on May 24th, 2016 | by Crissandra Ayroso


7 Reasons Why Seat Prices Can Be Different on the Same Flight

Have you ever scored an amazing deal on a flight only to find out that the person next to you paid more or less than you for theirs? If you’ve ever wondered why, there are a few factors that affect the price tag of your ticket. Here are 7 reasons why the cost of your seat may be different from the one next to yours.

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Sale Fares

The further out you book, the better. If you book your flight far out in advance enough, chances are – you’re grabbing the best deal. Airlines release their flight schedules approximately 10 months in advance, and the best time to book is generally about three months prior to your departure date. This is the best time to keep an eye out for those last minute sales and deals. Stay on top of things and sign up for Club Red to be the first to know about our flash sales, deals, contests, and more!

Last Minute Fares

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Last minute flights can be an expensive last minute decision. While it may be unavoidable, booking at the eleventh hour may mean paying for your flight at a premium.

While the best time to book a flight is about three months prior to your departure date, you’ll discover that it’s also at about this point that the prices start to increase as lower-fare seats begin to sell-out. Once you’re within this time frame, the options are fewer but still exist – keep an eye out for last minute sales and deals before weighing out the best of the last minute availability, and ask an Airfare Expert for help uncovering a hidden deal!

Upgradeable Fares

Premium airfares include a slew of benefits, like upgrade eligibility. Travelling on an upgradeable ticket affords you the ability to use frequent flyer reward points toward a seat upgrade.

Upgradeable fares offer options that the cheapest, or lowest class, fare options do not. For example, you can book an Air Canada Economy Flex fare and use your Aeroplan points toward a seat upgrade to Premium Economy or Business Class, an option not available with Air Canada’s cheapest Economy fares, or Tango fares.

family with luggage at airport

Discounted Child Fares

While the opportunities to fly on a discount are few and far between these days, some airlines offer discounted children’s fares. Youngsters, 2-11 years-old and accompanied by an adult, can sometimes save big, with up to 75% off the adult fare. Children’s airfares, and the policy around them, differs from airline to airline. To be sure you’re not missing out, ask an Airfare Expert! 

Infant Fares

Airlines charge infants a discounted fare, and depending on where you’re travelling to, it can be as low as 10% of the adult fare, plus taxes. While the cost of travelling with an infant in your lap will be minimal, parents can also opt for infants to travel in a seat of his or their own, typically for the price of a child’s fare. Like children’s fares, the rules on infant fares differ from airline to airline – you know what to do. Yup, just ask us.

Round the World Tickets


Round-the-world tickets are custom made fares determined in price by each airline alliance. Travellers flying on a one-city flight will be paying a significant difference in fare from the globetrotter flying on a round-the-world ticket. Round-the-world tickets are made up of a series of flights that piece together an extended journey.

Each round-the-world ticket is priced-out based on different airfare rules and criteria, like cabin class, total travel distance, number of continents visited and more. Ask a Round-the-World Airfare Expert for more information.

Flexible Fares

Flexible fares are premium fares that benefit travellers who may or may not anticipate changes in travel plans.

If you’re travelling on a flexible fare, the premium you’re paying affords you the ability to make changes with less restriction and lower penalties.

For example, a Latitude fare in Air Canada’s Economy Class will offer complimentary advance seat selection, no change fees (fare difference only), is fully-refundable, and you accumulate 125% of your earned Aeroplan miles (versus receiving 25% Aeroplan miles on a Tango fare), too!


While there are many reasons why your fare will differ from the person’s next to yours, we’ll find you the right deal and airfare type that works for your travel needs. Whether it’s from Toronto to Ottawa, business class, round-the-world, or all three, connect with an Airfare Expert online, in-store, or call 1-877-967-5302.

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About the Author

Crissandra Ayroso

is a copywriter for Flight Centre. She loves road trips, beach weather, sampling local wine. She, like Helen Hunt in the 1996 disaster-rama (that’s short for drama) Twister, is a tornado chaser, in the travel sense. She chases moments, all revealing. Ephemeral. Whether it’s ordering room service and eating in bed, finding the highest rooftop for the best views of the surroundings, feeling like a small dot in the middle of the ocean on a boat, or getting lost and stumbling upon hidden gems, no moment is too big or small to chase. Just like the category F5 that brought Helen Hunt back together with her estranged husband, respected TV weatherman, Bill Paxton.

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