I’m going to write about an airfare deal not because I think people should take advantage of it (quite to the contrary, they shouldn’t — stay home, people), but rather because I find this pricing strategy to be rather unusual.
With demand for travel having decreased exponentially, we’re generally seeing airlines take two pricing strategies:
- Some airlines are more or less maintaining “normal” fares, realizing that sales won’t generate much incremental revenue at this point, since people aren’t flying
- Some airlines are offering huge discounts on fares, I guess because demand is virtually non-existent; is this purely a competitive response to other airlines, or are they actually hoping to generate demand?
While I’ve seen a lot of low fares, American’s fares between Miami and Los Angeles are the most ridiculous I’ve seen yet. Through the end of April, American is selling one-way tickets between Miami and Los Angeles for $16. That’s right, you could fly roundtrip coast-to-coast for $32.
If you want to avoid basic economy, the fare is three times as much.
These fares are only available through the end of April, and then as of May fares skyrocket all the way up to $28.
This isn’t just available for one day, but these fares are available just about every day, on most flights.
Just to further point out how low that $16 fare is, $4.50 of that is the US Passenger Facility Charge, and $5.60 is the security fee, so in reality the fare is only $5.58 (though US airlines are getting some relief with taxes, so some of that is still going to the airlines).
Yep, a $6 base fare with no fuel surcharges for a flight that’s about six hours…
Yeah, I get there are sometimes airfare quirks, though I can’t really wrap my head around this strategy of pricing flights this way:
- People shouldn’t be encouraged or tempted to fly right now, for everyone’s sake
- I’d be surprised if this fare even covers the incremental cost of carrying additional passengers
Yeah, we’ve seen a lot of fares, but American Airlines is in a different league with these fares, in my opinion. To me these ultra-low fares for April seem counterproductive…
What do you make of American’s $16 transcon fares?