air fare madness

I’ve seen this a lot before.  I live in a small midwestern city that is served by several airlines. I’m pricing air fares to Europe. From my city to Amsterdam via Minneapolis on Northwest is $226 CHEAPER than the Minneapolis – Amsterdam ticket for the same flight.  From my city to Amsterdam on Northwest via Detroit is $150 – $200 cheaper, depending on the flight. This benefits me so I’m not complaining, but a negative relation between cost and price is insanity, even if it is easily explained by the logic of captive markets and near-monopolies in hub cities.

Author: olderwoman

I'm a sociology professor but not only a sociology professor. I keep my name out of this blog because I don't want my name associated with it in a Google search. Although I never write anything in a public forum like a blog that I'd be ashamed to have associated with my name (and you shouldn't either), it is illegal for me to use my position as a public employee to advance my religious or political views, and the pseudonym helps to preserve the distinction between my public and private identities. The pseudonym also helps to protect the people I may write about in describing public or semi-public events I've been involved with. You can read about my academic work on my academic blog --Pam Oliver

3 thoughts on “air fare madness”

  1. I found the same thing flying from my small town to Munich than from New York City to Munich. The price was only $50 less from NYC, and it would take me four hours to get there. Very strange.


  2. I have friends who were trying to visit family in Northern Kentucky over some recent holiday. It turned out to be more expensive to book a flight from L.A. to Cincinnati than it was to go from L.A. to Dayton with a stop in Cincinnati. Unfortunately they couldn’t just book the cheaper ticket and then fail to get on the Dayton leg since apparently the airline will cancel your return flight in that case (and obviously you couldn’t check a bag if you wanted to do that).

    For me it would be a lot cheaper if my parents were closer to a big airport rather than Madison because it’s easy to get cheap flights out of L.A. on Jet Blue or Southwest. It’s not a big enough price difference to make flying to Chicago and then taking the bus to Madison worth it (unless I need to be in Chicago for a few days anyway) but it sometimes comes very close. Lately my complaint, though, has been trying to get to Madison and finding that the cheapest tickets route me through stopovers WAY out of the way. Last I checked South Carolina is not on the way to the midwest.


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