United has some amazing fares to Moscow right now. Gray over at Wing and a Prayer reports booking a $383 all-in ticket from New York to Moscow, which is both a great mileage run and weekend trip. Fares from other parts of the country are also excellent, as low as $500 all-in.
I hate to question the suits at revenue management, but why publish a $383 all-in fare, with a base fare of $177? That means the airline is getting somewhere around $87.50 for transporting you in each direction (about 5,000 miles), which has to be below marginal cost. I realize the loads on this route are awful, but I’m not sure how selling seats at what must be substantially below marginal cost helps. Don’t get me wrong, I love fares like that, but I’d love to understand the reasoning, maybe from someone that has RM experience.