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Why Are US Domestic Fares So Expensive?  
User currently offlineParra From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4472 times:

At the moment if you wanted to travel from SFO/OAK to LAX/SNA/BUR etc you'd have to pay upwards of $100 with the full service guys and about $70 with SouthWest. In the EU you can travel similar distances with Virgin Express or Ryanair for about $50, and when the other airlines like Buzz and GO do their deals you can fly even greater distances for about $40 including taxes. This is not forgetting Ryanair and their famous roundtrip airfares for 1 euro which you can actually book becasue I have done so and so have most of my friends at some point.

Why can the EU carriers do it so much cheaper than the US carriers? Is it because foreign airlines are not allowed to operate domestic routes inthe US? If Virgin set up a new airline like Virgin Blue in Australia would it bring down prices?

41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineHoffa From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4411 times:

Can't say a Virgin Blue type operation would have any noticeable impact over here since its main lowfare competiton has more than 350 737's. Talk about barriers to entry!

You can currently fly SEA-TPA (which is 5800 miles) roundtrip for $160 so it all depends on the luck of the draw. The $1 fare has yet to be seen I'm afraid.


User currently offlineFlydeltasjets From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 210 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4400 times:

Expensive???!!!!

Ticket prices, in terms of real dollars adjusted for inflation, are cheaper right now then they have ever been. Some would say they are too cheap. It probably shouldn't be more expensive to ride greyhound than it is to ride in a jet.


User currently offlineB737-700 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4379 times:


This is extremely cheap. When you talk about those cheap flights in Europe you have to add high taxes on Ryanair and co.
And try to book a same day return within Europe (also on Ryanair or others) and you'll see what EXPENSIVE is !


User currently offlineFrequentFlyKid From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1206 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4366 times:

Capitalism. You gotta love it!

User currently offlineScottb From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6793 posts, RR: 32
Reply 5, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4364 times:

It seems to me that you're comparing apples to oranges here. You're comparing some of Ryanair's lowest fares to some of Southwest's highest fares; Southwest is offering intra-California flights for under $40 each way right now. Moreover, while Southwest is a "no-frills" airline, they do offer certain frills which Ryanair does not; i.e. complimentary onboard drink service and snacks, connecting flights (Ryanair won't offer you a connection from one of their flights to another of their flights), and 3 pieces of checked baggage (1 piece of checked baggage, up to 15 kg, on FR). Recall that Southwest (as well as the other U.S. airlines) also doesn't charge a fee for credit card bookings and that the taxes/charges/fees tend to be somewhat less on their flights.

User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4358 times:

Depending upon the city pair, your fare will be dependant upon several factors. How many airlines also fly this same city pair, and how often. You may have two airlines flying the same route, one a major airline (or its' regional partner(s)), the other a low-fare airline, and the fares may be $200 each way on the major and $49 on the low-fare airline. Some people are loyal to just one airline, and have no problem paying higher fares even when a cheaper alternative is available. In Atlanta this is the typically story on several city pairs like ATL-MYR and ATL-GPT. Now on routes that have many frequencies, like ATL-IAD, ATL-BOS, ATL-LGA, and ATL-EWR, both the major airline and the low-fare competitor charge similar fares for coach travel. Where the difference in fares is apparent is on business class fares. So in a nutshell, if the city pair is a popular pair, the prices will be competitive all around; but if the city pair involved is not very heavily served, one airline may charge a lower price than others on the same route.

User currently offlineParra From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4344 times:

What you are all missing is that a fare equal to 90cents round trip is less than $40 one way which ever way you look at it. I also quoted fares on GO for example I have flown for GBP35 from London to Madrid RT including all taxes which is equivalent to $49. The distance is just short of 1000 miles each way. I have flown from London to Shannon for GBP30 round trip including all taxes and the distance is about 400 miles each way.

User currently offlineParra From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4331 times:

Here are some examples of similar distance RT flights departing Tuesday Jan 29 returning Thursday Jan 31.

_______________________________________________

Southwest OAK-LAX 337 miles
Cheapest fare available $202 RT including taxes etc

Alaska Air SFO-LAX 337miles
Cheapest fare available $223 RT including taxes etc

American Airlines / Delta Airlines / United Airlines SFO-LAX 337miles
Cheapest fare available $303 Rt including taxes etc

_______________________________________________

Ryanair STN-PIK 320miles
Cheapest fare available $34 RT including taxes etc

GO STN-GLA 330 miles
Cheapest fare available $54 RT including taxes etc

easyJet LTN-GLA 322 miles
Cheapest fare available $91 RT including taxes etc

Virgin Express BRU-GVA 314 miles
Cheapest fare available $118 RT including taxes etc

Virgin Express BRU-CPH 474 miles
Cheapest fare available $110 RT including taxes etc

_______________________________________________

Bye the way. Many of these european fares have an advance purchase of 1 day and no minimum stay, indeed the Virgin Express ones are actually two one-ways.

I rest my case.



User currently offlineDelta777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 658 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4305 times:

US Airways- Kansas City-Tampa $68 round trip.
2096 miles round trip. 1048 miles one way.
pretty cheap to me.

D E L T A 7 7 7


User currently offlineParra From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4296 times:

D E L T A 7 7 7

The fare is $89 including tax. It's not a very nice flight though. You have to go up to Pittsburg and hang around for almost 5 hours between planes. In total the journey is 9 hours. I'm surprised you didn't mention the Delta $70 fare for the same journey though?


User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 11, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4289 times:

AMS-LHR on KLM or BA $300
AMS-LGW on BMi $200

Both are about 40 minutes flying time, prices are roundtrip.
That's European major fares, and those are WITHOUT taxes etc, which can add another $100 on a roundtrip.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineIluvwestjet From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4283 times:

It's about advance purchase.

You can book SJC-LAX (308 miles) on AA right now for departure on Feb. 1 (7 days advance purchase) and return on Feb. 3 for $81.50 USD - probably slightly cheaper on Southwest.


User currently offlineSerge From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1989 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4267 times:

Well, I am very satisfied with Southwest's prices, my bro and I paid $72 r/t each to fly from OAK to SAN this February and back the same day!  Big grin (the 22nd, btw)

...Serge


User currently offlineAcidradio From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1874 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4259 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

This could be a blatantly wrong assumption, but it seems to me that in Europe there are options other than flying between cities. Where many cities in Europe can be travelled between via rail service for a reasonable price and in a reasonable amount of time, the same is not true for a lot of the US.


Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
User currently offlineILOVEA340 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 2100 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4256 times:

The 2 dollars on Ryanair is a joke though. I have looked it up and you end up paying over 30 pounds once taxes have been added.
I have flown SFO-Reno while reno air was still around for 29rt. total was around 45USD. Thats cheaper than many ryanair fares.
Also consider this.
Ryanair- 15kg luggage- No food or drink.
SouthWest- normal full airline luggage-food and drink.


User currently offlineFallingeese From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 2097 posts, RR: 18
Reply 16, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4251 times:

You should try flying on a route in Canada where Air Canada has no competion. Then you will see, over priced.


Mark McWhirter...Contrails Photography
User currently offlineParra From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4246 times:

How much luggage do you need on a 2-night trip and how much food and drink do you need on a 50-minute flight? You can buy Coke or Pepsi in stores for 50c a can. Is that why Southwest charge $202 dollars RT OAK-LAX? I'd rather take my own along an save the money.

I'd also like to mention that GO and Virgin Express have the usual luggage allowance and that they have very good in-flight catering available for just a couple of dollars.

Also, most of the people replying to this post are in the under 20 category and probably never have to buy their own airfares and I suspect that very few have actually flown with one of the European low cost operators that they are commenting upon.


User currently offlineParra From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4231 times:

ILOVEA340:

You should maybe look at the tax on international flights operating out of the USA. $135 for example on some trips.


User currently offlineTravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4229 times:

Parra, US domestic fares are not expensive. Yes, for those particular days you selected, LAX-SFO/OAK is expensive. WN does have $80 r/t fares, except they do run out. After all, this air corridor is one of the most popular in the world.

Does Europe in general have cheaper airfares than the US? No.

Just try to fly CDG-FRA on the days you selected. Or FCO-MAD. Try AMS-ZUR. Yes, some routes out of the UK are cheaper than the US. But Europe as a whole? No.

Oh, and you can fly JetBlue (a better low-fare airline than ANYTHING in Europe) from LGB-JFK round trip for about $250 (That's 5,000 miles round trip). Think about it. Please name a place that you can go from the UK that is 2,500 miles away for $250 on those days you selected.

And as I said, JetBlue is superior to Ryan Air, Go, EasyJet or any other of the "no-frills" European carriers.

Hell, even on Southwest you can go anywhere in the US for $99 each way. Try LAX-TPA, or SAN-PVD.

No you can't go anywhere for $2. But that is not a real fare, just a promotion.


User currently offlineCV640 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 952 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4225 times:

Para, you'll never see a $2 ticket here. Figure on a 1 hour flight in a 737-800 with the max number of seats allowed under law at 189. If everyone paid $2 a ticket, that wouldn't even cover the fuel bill. Never mind the aircarft cost, landing fees, gate fees, advertising, employees, secuirty, training, etc.

Add to that there is a $5 dollar security tax on each leg, plus a number of other taxes that would add about $20 to an average ticket right now.


User currently offlineMls515 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3076 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4223 times:



Plus add up the extras that add to the cost of the trip. For example, europeans pay four times as much as we do for gas/petrol. Compare hotels, taxi fares, etc.


User currently offlineParra From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4221 times:

Travelin man:

The $2 fare is not a promotion. I have travelled using it many times and so have lots of my friends. They are available on most flights if you travel Monday through Thursday.


User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 35
Reply 23, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4216 times:

Please name a place that you can go from the UK that is 2,500 miles away for $250 on those days you selected.


LHR-JFK-LHR on BA or VS is $190 inc tax, and that is about 7000nm round trip.

CV640, you need to work out how a low cost carrier works (empty flight = cheap tickets, full flight = expensive tickets). Also, you can get £10 tickets on almost any flights if you book for the flight and not for the date.

Regards

Dan


User currently offlineParra From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4218 times:

Have you ever been to Madrid, Prague, Paris, Lisbon, Warsaw or Tallinn?

I didn't think so. These places are enormously cheaper than the average US city in terms of taxis (usually Mercedes), hotels and food.

Madrid - Airport to Downtown by metro for less than $1
Prague - Beer in a bar 500mL (more than 1 pint) =50 cents
Paris - 3*** hotel in a former 17th century palace = $50
Lisbon - Dinner at a good restaurant = $3
Warsaw - Lunch at a nice restaurant = $2
Tallinn - Everything very cheap - Pack of Marlboro = 80 cents

Yes Gas is expensive but then why worry when you can get a bus or metro or tram.


25 Parra : The comments below are directed at Mls515. Sorry I didn't include that in the original message. "Have you ever been to Madrid, Prague, Paris, Lisbon,
26 SegmentKing : don't forget, that air travel in the United States accounts for about 65% of ALL airline travel worldwide... we also are stuck with unions and some ex
27 Wolfpacker : As a consumer a $2 fare would be great and I would take advantage of it ALL the time. However, I would also be worried where are they cutting back to
28 AlaskaMVP : Is this a joke? A $2 fare is promotional, nothing more, it's meant to generate PR for the airline, and may be cheaper than running an expensive advert
29 Parra : Wolfpacker: State subsidy to any company is illegal under European Union competition rules. Ryanair aircraft are all registered in the Republic of Ire
30 Parra : AlaskaMVP Your friends probably ate at one of the overpriced places aimed at American tourists that are usualy full of brightly coloured ski jackets a
31 Mah4546 : Parra, what are you trying to proove? That Europe is cheaper than the US? Who cares? As someone who has lived in the US and Europe (Frankfurt, Dusseld
32 Parra : My point was that it is cheaper to travel by air in Europe. Other people brought up the subject of food, drink, taxis etc. As for tax, well I'm from t
33 Post contains images Hoffa : So Go, Easy, and Ryan offer cheaper fares than Southwest. That much I suppose we will have to concede. So take advantage of it and stop bleating on ab
34 Parra : BA used to be owned by the UK Government and for that reason they are still very unionised. Ryanair is also unionised and in fact they had a pilot str
35 Mah4546 : Parra, I am not sure if they include taxes are not, but, varying by state, taxes on cars in the US are as low as 6.5%, never higher than 10%. Taxes on
36 Parra : Mah4546: I am currently being charged $49.99 for basic digital cable from AT$T broadband. In the UK I can get the same for equivalent of $25 and that
37 TxAgKuwait : You know, at times the "Europe is so superior to anything in the United States" attitude gets to be a bit too much to handle. Let's see...where do I s
38 Mah4546 : Parra, yes, I did live in London. Thing to remember, they do not have digital cable in the UK. I don't know how you paid that little for TV and teleph
39 Delta-flyer : Rather than giving a bunch of anecdotes based on my own experiences of price-comparisons Europe, let me just ask why it is that whenever business asoc
40 ILOVEA340 : That international tax you are talking about usualy has a lot more to do with the euro. airport than with the US aiurport. FRA for example has redicul
41 Charliecossie : Mah4546: Of course the UK has digital cable. It's had it for years! It also has digital satellite TV, digital radio, digital telephones, digital compu
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