What you write makes total sense and I am in no way questioning the justification for the $1600 price tag. I absolutely believe that this is what it costs to do this operation.
What I'm simply saying is that it is beyond me why people would do this INSTEAD of other, much more exotic flying adventures for the same money. Like for example the North Korea tours that are currently on offer, which would get you on 5 or 6 flights on various rare Soviet aircraft, some of them the last example of that model in operation, plus you get a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a super exotic place.
But then there are people who pay super big money for a stamp or coin, while at the same time you could experience unforgettable adventures for the money. After all, you only have that many years to live, and in the end when you're old what is it really worth to have that valuable coin or stamp in your album.
In a way, for me, a $1600 local flight on a DC8 is similar to an expensive coin in an album. But this is just my opinion, everybody is free to do what they want. I'm going to Cuba in 2 weeks, on an IL96 and an AN24 in real scheduled service with real people on the plane, and the whole thing is going to cost me less than that DC8 trip, including hotels, meals, overland travel on trains and buses, ... and I can't comprehend how that DC8 trip is as valuable as this.
The reason I'm even writing all this is that I see a tendency in the aviation community to spend astronomic amounts of money when the words "rare", "last chance" and similar pop up. Think about safety cards, postcards and other sorts of memorabilia. In the end it's a piece of paper, and buying a "rare" or "last chance" item is not going to make your collection complete as there will still be holes. And the same is true for a "last chance" DC8 flight, this will not make your log book of all different aircraft complete, there will still be hundreds of types you haven't flown with, so why not get the most bang for the buck and do something else instead with a "better mileage"?
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home