Jan 29, 2020

AI re-pricing software for hotels, flights could hurt deal-hungry consumers

A flight taking off in 2019. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Hotels and airlines are now using artificial intelligence software to re-price tickets and stays, sometimes dozens of times a day, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: More often than not this is resulting in higher prices for consumers, as great deals are removed from travel websites and replaced by higher prices when the AI software notices increasing demand.

How it works: "Traditionally, hotels and airlines priced their offerings depending on peak demand periods, past sales data and the number of current reservations," per NYT.

  • "Now, changes in travel pricing are being made much more frequently. The practice, called 'hyperdynamic pricing,' is poised for significant growth, Angela Zutavern, a managing director at the technology consulting firm AlixPartners."

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Airlines cut back on U.S.-China flights due to coronavirus fears

Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 aircraft. Photo: Nik Oik/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Several airlines — including major U.S. carriers like Delta, United and American — are suspending some or all of their China flights through February because of coronavirus fears.

The big picture: Airlines said demand for flights to China has plummeted due to the virus' spread. Large companies in other industries — from technology to packaged food — have suspended business trips, CNBC reports.

Go deeperArrowJan 31, 2020 - World

American Airlines union sues to pause flights between China and U.S.

China Airlines cabin crew at the San Francisco International Airport in Millbrae, California, Jan. 28. Photo: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An American Airlines pilots' union sued the company on Thursday to temporarily halt all flights between the U.S. and China, the Financial Times reports, citing "serious" health threats from the coronavirus.

What they're saying: "We estimate that as many as 300 passengers and crew travel to DFW alone from Chinese cities on each American Airlines flight,” said Eric Ferguson, president of the union — representing 15,000 pilots. American Airlines previously stated it would cancel flights between Los Angeles and China from Feb. 9 through March 27, citing a decline in demand.

Go deeperArrowJan 30, 2020 - Health

Commercial property values decline in January, dragged by malls

Data: Green Street Advisors; Chart: Axios Visuals

The latest reading of the Green Street Commercial Property Price Index fell in January for the first time since March 2019. Prices had held steady over the previous three months and have risen just 2.1% in the last 12 months.

Why it matters: The data suggest price increases in commercial real estate have hit a standstill.