Well, you can find thousands of articles informing you that booking in advance is something that will always help you get the cheapest flights. Totally agree. What I would really like to see no use doing is writing another article that tells you the same thing.
Instead, I just wanted to write a few quick notes of curiosities about why this is a strategy that airlines use? Why do they benefit from this?
There are some reasons why this should happen. To understand this, we need to know what will happen if this strategy does not exist. Of course, we humans love doing things at the last minute, and many people will book the trip on the last day. Why book earlier? Imagine that for some reason you need to cancel it! Of course, we are not stupid, and we will do that last thing before leaving.
You can tell me that some people will book early for fear of running out of places. It could be, but if you look at the planes nowadays, you will realize that there are always some places left except for the major holiday dates. This will be another article, but here comes one of the main reasons for tickets at discount prices!
Why don't airlines care about last minute bookings? Well, they need to plan in advance for many reasons. Knowing the occupancy of the planes will allow them to analyze the situation and change the prices accordingly, they need to plan the food they will need on this flight and also the space required for the baggage. If they knew the plane would be nearly empty, then they would be on time to make changes and select a smaller plane to make the flight.
At the same time, the people who usually book at the last minute are the ones who travel for commercial reasons. As discussed in another article, business travelers are expected to pay more because it is their companies who pay their wages, and therefore the prices are tailored according to their needs. What I mean is that the high fare will not scare any company, but it might scare many tourists. It is better to let tourists book before because they have cut the budget, so business travelers will have no problem providing higher rates.
Short and easy. These are the reasons for airlines to get better prices for the first occupied seats.