Airfare sucks

Seriously, when you have no major airports around and must rely on regional airports the prices are ridiculous. I’m just venting because everywhere worth going is over one thousand dollars in cattle class. How the hell do people afford to travel? Anyway, if there are any of you stuck in a hicktown like me and want to sound off about exorbitant prices, please do so.

Luckily, we have a long-range bus company that runs people to airports: O’Hare, Midway, Milwaukee. Adds $30 each way to the price of travel, but you can always find a flight from O’Hare… and it’s so much nicer when you don’t have to park there. Any chance of driving/bussing to a bigger airport?

It’s nice being in a major centre. Last year we went to the UK for under 600 each - Canadian ! I was just fooling around with Google Flights trying to figure out where to go with the kids for their spring break and Air Canada was showing $700 return to Beijing.

Then I see the deals from New York for USD$300 return to Europe and I get envious anyway.

What gets me is the wide disparity in prices based on date of travel. It’s to and from the same place, and it’s the same distance, same airline, etc. Why, then, does it cost over three times as much to fly on the last day (Sunday) of a 3-day weekend as it does to fly the very next day (Monday)? And, yes, I’m absolutely opposed to Uber et al’s “surge pricing”.

Not really understanding how this is happening.

What trip are you trying to take that it costs $1k for cattle class, and how are you trying to book it?

I booked a flight from LAX to North Carolina for next week about a month ago. It’s about $495 to NC from LAX. Not bad considering distance, BUT oddly enough, only flights available for a Thursday were at 10:00 or 10:30 AM. Nothing in afternoon or night. (???)

I’m flying back from Philadelphia a week later around $600. I’m paying $99 of that for an Emergency Exit seat. I still wonder how one uncomfortable seat can be bought for $395 for this flight, but of course, you’re paying for baggage check per bag, carry-on item fee, no cancellations, etc. But my EE row seat comes with the options that you’d pay for. So it’s really about how much you want to limit your options in pricing.

Unca Cecil did a column on this, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out the archive search function. It’s on page 136 of “Return of the SD” (the third book). The index lists it as “airfares, discount, ‘first Sunday return’ requirement,” if that’s any help.

That’s not really all that surprising. If you’re headed to or from a 2nd or 3rd-tier city, you’re lucky if there are more than a couple of flights per day.

If they had more flights, they would be more expensive, because there are a limited number of people who need to fly direct from LA to Raleigh or wherever. More flights would mean more empty seats, ergo higher per-seat operating costs, ergo higher ticket prices for everybody else.

Come to think of it, having one and only one flight per day scheduled for the mid-morning sounds glorious. I regularly have to catch a 6:30AM flight from Ohio to DFW so that I show up in the Dallas office at 9AM for a meeting. It sucks rocks.

Like Annoyed, I also don’t quite understand the fares quoted in the OP.

My nearest airport is Wichita. It’s not hicktown, but it’s only a mid-major, at best. To get anywhere, one must fly to Dallas, Denver, Chicago, or Atlanta. But the most I’ve paid in the last 10 years of fairly regular flying is just over 500 bucks. Of course, I always book well in advance, and, before booking, closely monitor the fares in hope of finding a good deal.

Same, but even then there certain days to fly over others and certain websites to use over others as well.

And don’t forget JFK, even though it’s a horrible airport. I go through there all the time even though I hate it. It’s fine with an appropriate layover.

Sometimes advanced booking is more expensive than booking a week in advance, and searching with nearby airports enabled shows great tickets.

“Multi Destination” booking can yield awesome tickets as well. I’ve been eying a flight from TPA to SIN one way with 24 hours stopover in London for $2k - business class - for a week now. Can’t book yet because I don’t know when I’ll be free from work.

I need to get a visa at an embassy in DC and was looking at flights to Dulles for $180, one way.

It’s unclear where OP wants to go, but if it’s domestic there’s no reason to pay $1k round trip, cattle class. Just takes time and shopping around.

Wednesday’s are usually the cheapest day to fly, anywhere.

I get it, OP. It’s not just that there are no direct flights; it’s that travel from small airports is more expensive–and by small, I’m talking 10,000 people, not Wichita’s 300,000+. The airfare from my small town in Wyoming was always at least $200 more than flights from the nearest small city, which was over 100 miles away. I was told it had to do with airlines’ high bids to serve the area.

In his book Walden, Thoreau argues the cheapest way to go anywhere is to walk. The idea is a horse is fast and can get you anywhere quicker than walking but the cost to have one is a cost in time as well. Walk wherever you want and you won’t have to bust your ass spending the time required to maintain a horse to get you there later. Inner city commuters enjoy this to some extent even today.

That might have been bullshit then, it is certainly bullshit for air travel now. US minimum wage average is $7.25 so one 40 hr week at a fast food restaurant will net you $290. That is enough to fly anywhere in North America. How far can you walk in 40 hours?

Bitching about travel will never end, even when it takes 7 fucking seconds to fly halfway around the world.

Unlike widget manufacturers, airline seat pricing has little, if anything, to do with costs. The prices are all about what people are willing to pay and maximising revenue.

Because more people want to fly on Sunday.

So either they have below-market prices on Sunday and it’s even harder to get a ticket, or they have above-market pricing on Monday and cancel the flight because nobody will buy seats.

Ooo, ME, ME, I’ll whinge!!

I live in a regional town that is a 2hr flight from the state capital. It’s a mining town with lots of FIFO workers that the mining companies subsidize fares for. Yet there are more folks who work in ancillary industries and local indigenous people who cannot benefit…so the 2hr airfare is as much if not more than the fare to fly anywhere else in the country or even to overseas destinations.

As others have said, what route are you flying that costs that much?

I live in an English country town. To get to Las Vegas (6,000 miles away), I take transport to the nearest airport and then pay approximately $700 for the return flight.

I live 3km from the nearest airport. To get to (2hr flight) Perth it costs me app $700 rtn per flight. From Perth to KL costs around $300 rtn. From Melbourne to KL direct would cost as little as $250 rtn.

It’s price gouging for folks who have no alternative.

Anyone who charges more than what I want to pay is price-gouging. Anyone who charges less than what I’m willing to pay is a sucker.

This makes about as much sense as complaining that fresh apples that taste good are more expensive than mouldy apples full of maggots. If you think all apples are worth the same, surely you should be delighted that the mouldy ones are available so much more cheaply?

Apparently, I’m the mouldy apple guy. My family is incredulous at the discomfort I’ll put myself through to save a few bucks.

Last big trip I took was to London. I packed everything in a small backpack, which made it easy to ride my bike across town before dawn to catch the three-hour bus ride to O’Hare, where I flew to North Carolina for a six hour layover because that was where the Surprise Cheapo Airfare landed me, then a red-eye to London-but-Gatwick-not-Heathrow to the tube to Blackfriars Station, then a five-mile walk at dawn across London to the cheapest hotel that Priceline had, which wasn’t open yet.

But, damn, airfare and a week in London for $800! It was a case of “either do it cheaply or stay home”. I don’t regret one challenging moment of it.

So when you’re people-watching in the airport and think “That guy looks awfully bouncy.” That’s me, because I’m spending half of what everyone else is.