Air Fares on the Internet - Best to Check After Midnight?

This morning I caught the last sentence of a conversation between Katie Couric and some travel expert on the Today Show. I’m not sure of the travel babe’s exact words, but she said something to the effect of:

Can anyone speak to whether or not this is actually true? The woman’s statement seems to make sense, but at the same time I don’t see how the October 6th 7:20PM flight from STL to MCO can be $245 at 11:59PM and be $245 - y at 12:01AM.

Which begs my next question: after midnight where? If it’s midnight in Springfield, what time is it at Do most travel websites (expedia, travelocity, orbitz, etc.) operate on Eastern Time?

Three of us from work were travelling on business to the same place. Cow orker #1 places his reservation. An hour later I place mine, and find that mine is $100 more. Cow orker #2 makes his the next day. Our flight is sold out, but he gets a different flight, and for whatever reason it’s cheaper for him to do two one way tickets than one two way ticket, and he comes in total about $400 less than me.

The prices vary by the hour. Sometimes they go up, sometimes they go down. In general you are better off getting tickets as far in advance as possible, but really I don’t think there is a best time. It just varies too much.

Most airlines now seem to know exactly how many seats are sold at any given minute. The bit about seats becoming available again after midnight makes no sense to me. This might have been true several years ago, but the whole thing is computerized and pretty much real time now.