An anonymous airline executive gives up the goods about cheap airfare

Have you ever heard of a sale on airfare, tried to buy a ticket, and found that the cheap fare wasn't available? Did you book your flight early, but still feel like you paid an awful lot for the ticket? Do you think that you're getting the best rate on airfare by purchasing your ticket through a site like Orbitz or Travelocity or Expedia?

An industry insider gives us the real story behind airfares, and it's not encouraging. It seems that it all boils down to the luck of the draw. A select few will get a good rate, and the rest of us will have to take what we can get.

The nameless executive confirms that there are a very limited number of "sale seats" on each flight. The airlines aren't really required to designate a certain number of seats as sale seats when they advertise a sale. However, the rule of thumb is around 10% of the seats or a little less.

There will likely be more sale seats available on less popular flights, which are usually on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Don't plan on getting a discounted seat on a Friday or Sunday. Apparently it is quite a badge of honor for an airline to advertise a huge fare sale, but then get tons of travelers with higher airfares.