This comes up again and again. It feels like teaching algebra to cats.
Here's a post from just a few days ago, illustrative (I wrote it on 2/2).
Low cost carriers are rarely the cheapest between city pairs on which they compete with legacy carriers. What they do, however, is bring consistently rational - reasonable and sustainable - fares to those markets. Absent the mere presence of the LCC in the market, the low fares simply do not exist, or (at best) only exist in very limited numbers, for long-lead advance purchase travelers (i.e., no use at all to business travelers).
I can always count on my two hometown airlines to provide the perfect example, and today is no different.
Compare two city pairs of essentially identical distance- Austin to San Diego and DFW
to San Diego.
Say I need to fly tomorrow to SAN
, returning on Saturday the 5th.
says I have to pay $1,018.40 to fly non-stop, round trip, using their exquisite LRTC (Less Room Throughout Coach) product. If I am willing to change planes at LAX
(and lose an axtra 2+ hours each way), the fare "drops" to $758.80. Oy vey, such a deal. But that's the cost of last-minute travel, right?
But wait a minute.
If I am flying AUS
will take me round-trip for only $417.80... and I'll be traveling via DFW
, and sitting in the same airplane as the poor schmuck who was forced to pay $1,018.40 RT.
Why so much cheaper, even though they are taking me (1) on more airplanes for a longer distance, and (2) on the same precise planes that cost so much if you originate and destinate at DFW
can sell you a ticket on that city pair, and they will. WN
's fare? $460.00. Not cheaper than AA
. But you can bet that AA
's fare would not be anywhere near that low, if they did not have a rational fare competitor on the pair.
If it's my money, I'll take the Southwest flight. Besides a roomier and better-appointed interior, I'll be treated with respect, all the way around. I'll earn free travel with RR
points a lot faster. And, I'll do less to support the fare-gouging predators of the market. WN
does not gouge, even when they are the sole choice. That's respect, business maturity, corporate character.
Dynamics like this are the reason Southwest (and carriers like them, though there really aren't any quite like them just now) is so popular with business travelers.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...