(NECN/NBC News: Bob Hansen) – All travelers hope to get the best deal possible on airline tickets, but these great deals are rare.
However, the airlines make a habit of offering brief, almost fleeting, promotional bargains.
"The airlines are willing to take the risk because at the end of the day, we'll put up with them as consumers,” said George Belch, a marketing professor.
Those rates do get the attention of the public.
Belch says the rates get travelers to think about travel, which leads to the airlines filling up empty seats.
Even if you don't get that cheap fare, the airlines figure that if you're looking at their website, you might buy a ticket anyway.
"Chances are if I go for the ultra-low fare and it isn't there I’ll book the next category," Belch explained.
There's no way of knowing how many people actually get the deeply discounted tickets. Those numbers change with supply and demand.
"The consumer just says, you know what, I should have done it quicker. I think we've learned what the game is about,” said Belch.
The seats are limited, restricted by destinations and dates. Still, the offers of lower rates grab our attention and imagination.
Consumer experts do have some advice to save money on your holiday travel.
According to www.kayak.com, mid-Oct. is the time to get holiday deals. Fares will go up as much as 25-percent as the holidays approach.
Flying on the actual holiday will save big bucks as well.