WSJ: Airfares Down 16% Since 1995

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by rwoman, Oct 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,617
    Likes Received:
    13,489
    Status Points:
    11,070
    Scottrick likes this.
  2. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,586
    Likes Received:
    4,078
    Status Points:
    2,570
    Yes, things have improved depending on how you look at it. My family members who hate flying and paying the extra fees are subsidizing my elite benefits. Since fares are generally lower as bag fees and such have been charged separately, that means I pay less for travel by playing the loyalty game.

    But groceries are essentially the same deal. Safeway and Krogers offer you an extra 10% on that can of beans if you use your card, but only because they raised the price 5% and expect only half their customers will have a card and get the discount. One half is subsidizing the other.
     
    rwoman likes this.
  3. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,617
    Likes Received:
    13,489
    Status Points:
    11,070
    Is it scary that preferred or elite "benefits" apply to so many facets of our lives? I know I got a letter from Tesco, one of the large supermarket chains in the UK, that they were changing their ClubCard scheme - less points for purchases, but lower prices on many basic items.
     
  4. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,586
    Likes Received:
    4,078
    Status Points:
    2,570
    I'd say it's more unfortunate because I know a lot of people don't understand the programs or don't have the patience for them. Krogers is offering a deal now where you get 10 cents off gas for every $100 you buy. So if you give them $100 of business, you might pay $5 extra (because they have to cover the benefits somehow, and now they've roped you in so you aren't comparing prices) compared to the $95 if you shopped with someone who had no gas discount program. And for that extra $90, you save $2 on a 20-gallon tank of gas. So Kroger makes $3 more, plus the additional sales of gas and groceries, and you walk away thinking you saved money. As long as you don't figure it out, everybody wins I guess. :rolleyes:
     
    MSPeconomist and rwoman like this.
  5. Bob Smolinsky
    Original Member

    Bob Smolinsky Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,346
    Likes Received:
    14,569
    Status Points:
    10,575
    Utter nonsense at least re TATL fares.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  6. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    What I pay for international fares has gone up much faster than the inflation rate. My impression is that my domestic tickets aren't much more expensive in nominal dollars, so they've effectively gone down in price on average, but the variance has gone up, so I might be worse off here too because I'm risk averse. If they are averaging over the prices of all airline tickets sold, since there are many more domestic tickets, the price drop claim could be true, but this isn't the whole story. They should also consider fees associated with air travel so that they are measuring the total cost of air transportation, not just some number that is arbitrarily labelled as the "fare."
     
  7. Merlin
    Original Member

    Merlin Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,383
    Likes Received:
    4,134
    Status Points:
    2,445
    I remember buying a full flex business return ticket for direct flight between FBU-EWR with SAS in June 1998. I paid NOK 22,800 for this ticket at that time, and today you have to pay NOK 23,826 for the exact same type of ticket (almost since OSL is the Oslo Airport these days - FBU closed down in October 1998). The ticket price has increased 4.5% during these 13 year. During the same time the consumer prices has increased with 30.5% according to Statistics Norway. In other words the ticket prices between OSL and EWR has in reality gone down 20% compared with other consumer products.
     
  8. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,586
    Likes Received:
    4,078
    Status Points:
    2,570
    True. I am very careful with international tickets, basically only traveling when I find a deal and otherwise saying, "I guess I'm not going to Europe this year." So far I haven't paid more than $800, and that was for the ticket someone else found, not me. Domestically, I play the same game, waiting for a deal, but they come more often so it doesn't seem so bad.
     
  9. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    My anecdote is buying a sale MSP-CDG RT for travel over Thanksgiving weekend in about the mid-1990s for $435 which was upgradeable with miles, IIRC 10-15K miles each way and confirmed when I purchased the ticket, on NW connecting thorugh DTW. The cheapest upgradeable MSP-CDG RT was about $1600-2000 through 2008, and then jumped in about 2009 to roughly $3K and now it's closer to $4K RT, using either DL SWUs or IIRC 25K miles each way to upgrade (on DL, the same M+ fare classes are required to upgrade with either SWUs or miles, no co-payment required and it books into the same inventory class), with a deep discount business class ticket now roughly the same price. Moreover the aircraft was nicer fifteen years earlier. (I really despise DL's horrid old 767s with the sad and tired old recliner seats.)
     
  10. dc3
    Original Member

    dc3 Silver Member

    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    302
    Status Points:
    520
    Averages are mostly very misleading. If Bill Gates leaves my office, the average net worth of the office members goes down about 90%+. Yes, some airfares are down. But add in the new fees, costs to get to/from the airport, airport parking fees, waiting for your baggage to arrive, and TSA, I am not so sure how great things are now.
     

Share This Page