Yflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 1177
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:05 am

Have Fares To CLT Gone Down?

Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:35 am

Specifically, fares from the West Coast to CLT. I fly from Sacramento to North Carolina a few times a year. CLT is by far the most convenient airport for me to fly to, but I used to often fly to RDU to get a cheaper fare. I've always understood that the reason it was more expensive to fly to CLT was the dominance of US Airways in that market. It seems like starting about a year ago, though, fares to CLT dropped to about the same level as RDU.

For example, when I flew in summer 2005 SMF-CLT would have cost me well over $400, SMF-GSO wasn't much cheaper, but SMF-RDU was nearly $200 cheaper. Now I'll be traveling there again next month, and the fares to either airport are mostly in the $225-$275 range. In fact it looks like the cheapest fare to CLT is slightly cheaper than the cheapest fare to RDU.

Now I realize my own personal experience provides very few data points, and the difference I saw in fares then and now could just be coincidental. I wonder if someone with more knowledge of the industry than myself could confirm my suspicion that it used to be much more expensive to fly to CLT than it is now?

As a follow up question, if I am correct, why have fares to CLT dropped so much? Does it have anything to do with the US/HP merger? It seems like most people here say that the merger hasn't reduced fares, but I wonder if those people are thinking of fares between US Airways markets in the East. Could it be that the merger actually did reduce fares in the specific case of fares to CLT from small/medium sized markets in the West? Or is there some other reason, like more competition between other airlines in these markets?
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11370
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: Have Fares To CLT Gone Down?

Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:38 am

Fares to the eastern half of the country haven't changed much over the past 3-4 years (though walkups to N.Y. are cheaper now). I can't speak for the west coast, but I will ask around and see what my friends from California have to say.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
boeingguy1
Posts: 395
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:31 am

RE: Have Fares To CLT Gone Down?

Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:04 am

Fares into CLT have dropped dramatically (from NYC) since the merger, but also since B6 entered the market. 4 Years ago, from EWR/LGA, I would pay anywhere from 300-600 r/t. Today, I can find fares as low as 149.
Gatwick South! Id rather crash in Brighton!
 
ejmmsu
Posts: 1647
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2004 6:05 am

RE: Have Fares To CLT Gone Down?

Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:10 am

FL at CLT has lowered fares to many markets.
"If the facts do not conform to the theory, they will have to be disposed of"
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11370
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: Have Fares To CLT Gone Down?

Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:28 am

Quoting Ejmmsu (Reply 3):
FL at CLT has lowered fares to many markets.

It's tempting to say that, but aside from ATL, I'm not sure it's true. Fares to Florida have never really been bad (because connecting over ATL on DL is a competitive choice). Fares to fly to ATL have dropped dramatically, but if you're willing to endure South Carolina roads, there's not much of a reason to fly to Atlanta.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
ejmmsu
Posts: 1647
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2004 6:05 am

RE: Have Fares To CLT Gone Down?

Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:33 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 4):
It's tempting to say that, but aside from ATL, I'm not sure it's true. Fares to Florida have never really been bad (because connecting over ATL on DL is a competitive choice). Fares to fly to ATL have dropped dramatically, but if you're willing to endure South Carolina roads, there's not much of a reason to fly to Atlanta.

I only say that because fares to FL stations seem lower than fares to non-FL stations in similar parts of the country. (I.E. DFW being cheaper than OKC, and MCI being cheaper than STL)
"If the facts do not conform to the theory, they will have to be disposed of"
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 11370
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: Have Fares To CLT Gone Down?

Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:12 am

Quoting Ejmmsu (Reply 5):
I only say that because fares to FL stations seem lower than fares to non-FL stations in similar parts of the country. (I.E. DFW being cheaper than OKC, and MCI being cheaper than STL)

That's true, but it's tough to figure out how much of that is really an FL effect. Fares from CLT have always been fickle, and not always in the expected way (we'd expect STL to be cheaper than MCI because of the competition and the shorter distance).

IMO, what is true is that FL and B6 are the first real LCC challengers to US in CLT. TZ and DH came and went and US didn't do much (if anything) about them. US at least has to pay attention to FL and B6. Unfortunately, CLT is still a pretty high-fare environment, though deals can certainly be found with enough flexibility and advance purchase-- just like anywhere, I suppose.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
cltguy
Posts: 541
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:54 pm

RE: Have Fares To CLT Gone Down?

Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:26 pm

Since 2001 the avg fare in CLT has dropped 21%. So yes fares have come down in Charlotte and noticably so. Also the O&D numbers have correspondingly gone up.

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