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detroitflyer
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Posts: 372
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Why are flights in North America so Expensive

Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:30 pm

I've been looking at flight prices for city pairs on identical dates across the world between cities of a similar size and distance and I've found that flights in North America are generally about 3 times as expensive as flights around the word. For example on June 16, 2020 between the following cities the cheapest tickets are as follows

Durban -> Johannesburg: $30-35
Sydney -> Mebourne: $25-35
Mumbai -> Delhi: $25-35
London -> Frankfurt: $30-35

Flight pairs between New York and Chicago only start at $70 and between Toronto and Montreal it's as high as $85.

What gives? Why such a discrepancy?
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Cubsrule
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Re: Why are flights in North America so Expensive

Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:41 pm

Are you making an apples-to-apples comparison as far as ancillary fees?
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rajincajun01
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Re: Why are flights in North America so Expensive

Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:42 pm

Labor costs and facility lease/usage costs are a big factor.
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Kent350787
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Re: Why are flights in North America so Expensive

Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:26 am

That SYD-MEL fare is crazy low! I've never ever come anywhere near that - I assume it's tigerair at an odd time of the day? The average fare would be way above that.
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alasizon
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Re: Why are flights in North America so Expensive

Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:39 am

Each country has different economic forces at work. The costs to run an airline in North America are not the same as the cost in Europe or Australia.

On the other hand, using the shortest of short hauls is probably not the best example when looking at cost comparison.

June 16th:
LHR - FCO (899 mi) is $111
ATL- BOS (946 mi) is $89

AKL-MEL (1,643 mi) is $145
LAX-ORD (1,744 mi) is $97
LAS-YYZ (1,943 mi) is $139

Depending on what you pick, you can find examples of where each area has more expensive or cheaper flights.
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Coal
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Re: Why are flights in North America so Expensive

Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:58 am

I found the opposite.

I was quite surprised to find a USD200 ticket one-way in DL domestic F FLL-ATL. On the other hand, J class on SQ SIN-CGK for instance one way could easily run you USD1,000.

Of course different market forces at work...
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eta unknown
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Re: Why are flights in North America so Expensive

Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:08 am

I don't know where you found that $25 Syd-Mel fare (assume you converted currencies) but are you looking at Spirit fares in the US for apples for apples?
 
Kent350787
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Re: Why are flights in North America so Expensive

Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:36 am

eta unknown wrote:
I don't know where you found that $25 Syd-Mel fare (assume you converted currencies) but are you looking at Spirit fares in the US for apples for apples?

Spirit would be the US comparison. Jetstar is advertising SYD-AVV in the middle of the day on 16 June for around USD$30. The cheapest fare SYD-MEL is nearer USD$50.
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MAH4546
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Re: Why are flights in North America so Expensive

Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:49 am

The US dollar is an insanely strong currency. The dollar has gotten stronger over the years over the Euro, Yen, etc. so it seems more expensive, but to an American it’s not actually, just the weaker currencies elsewhere make it “cheaper.”

Regardless, flying in the States is dirt cheap.
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A333MSPtoAMS
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Re: Why are flights in North America so Expensive

Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:42 pm

MAH4546 wrote:
The US dollar is an insanely strong currency. The dollar has gotten stronger over the years over the Euro, Yen, etc. so it seems more expensive, but to an American it’s not actually, just the weaker currencies elsewhere make it “cheaper.”

Regardless, flying in the States is dirt cheap.


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jetlaggedAF
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:34 pm

Re: Why are flights in North America so Expensive

Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:00 am

The market is an oligopoly with little real competition. The 3 major airlines dominate major hub markets and tacitly avoid competing with each other so that they can all charge higher fares, particularly to business travelers. WN does compete in some markets and this results in anomalies like cheap Vegas flights but this is limited to non business flyers because many corporate purchasing systems don't allow WN bookings and WN themselves don't offer a premium cabin. Many routes are monopolies further protected by limiting international competition using airline alliances to control capacity on key city pairs. For example my employers recently paid $11,000 for me to fly UA's sub par 764 Polaris J class product IAH-GRU-IAH. They have a monopoly on this route nonstop and charge extortionate rates for business travel. I could have flown AC via Toronto for less than $6,000 but that would have been 1.5-2x longer including connections and against my employer's travel policies. There's really no winning but at least the people lucky enough to live in a DL hub get to fly an internationally competitive product unlike the rest of us.

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