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Hello Entrepreneurs and consumers,

Where The Incident Happened? 

Turkish Airlines 737-800 TC-JFT

Turkish Airlines 737-800 TC-JFT (Photo credit: caribb)

I live in Minnesota and I recently  needed to take a flight to New York, for my partners, only  nephew’s wedding.   I’d been looking at ticket prices online since January. Towards the end of May my hard work paid off, I saw some cheap tickets to New York.  I jumped at the chance to buy them.  I was also ahead of the curve the wedding was at least a month away, so I was ready to check this off my to-do list.  I reserved the tickets online with a credit card and called it done.  Well as luck would have it,  my partners purse was stolen. Yes.  Like most of you I’m surprised this happened in Minnesota too.  (That wasn’t very Minnesota Nice). 

Now I have to call the bank and alert them that our checkbook and credit/debit card has been stolen.  The bank puts a hold on the account, and the plane ticket’s are not paid for.  I get a message from the airline saying the tickets are no longer on reserve because the bank stopped the funds.   Dratz!  We go into the bank and get everything straightened out, thankfully it’s right down the street from where I live.

Email alert: Kayak.com

Email alert: Kayak.com (Photo credit: Rob Enslin)

It Was My Fault
I returned to Kayak.com  (Best Place To Find Cheap Tickets But Cheap Tickets is an oxymoron…Keep reading).
Would you believe,  I couldn’t find any cheap airline tickets to New York. Everyday I would search the site and it seemed like the prices just got higher and higher.  As I looked time was slipping away and the wedding was getting closer and closer.  I looked at my computer in awe as the prices increased almost $100 a days.  The cheapest tickets where over $650 per person round-trip.  My first reaction was “We may not be able to go to the wedding”.  Of course that was out of the question we had to go and I had to find the cheapest tickets to New York.  As I searched the Internet I found some very strong similarities in prices between airlines.  They were all incredibly expensive! 
So I bit the bullet and a week before our trip I purchased the cheapest of the  “expensive” tickets to New York.  

English: An air ticket issued by Japan Airlines

English: An air ticket issued by Japan Airlines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My question is why the heck are the airlines allowing This to Happen?   How come some of the people sitting right next to me on the plane paid more or less for there ticket than I did?  I am so infuriated at the people who run the airlines, the prices are high and getting a cheap ticket is like playing a game of roulette.

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes (Photo credit: givingnot@rocketmail.com)

So I did a low-budget investigation to find out who is in charge of the Airfare Fluctuation Scandal.  Ironically enough it was easier finding cheap tickets than it was finding out whose responsible.

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Farsi Wikipedia for the 13th week, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So after a deep dive into cyberspace I found out that the FAA is the cause of all of this  airfare fluctuation.  Well not directly but, indirectly  they are not regulating the Airlines and these outrageous Airfare prices. If I go looking for airline ticket‘s on various sites why are the prices similar?  Isn’t that price fixing?  Anyway that’s another blog my point is the Federal Aviation Administrators don’t have a clue what it’s like to travel.  I am sure they travel for free, in some swanky plane’s  with T.V.’s in the headrest.  Meanwhile a family of four will never get to see grandma unless they drive across country. When you really look at it these big CEO’s don’t tell the airlines what to charge so I have to lighten up on them the price fluctuation is actually a product of a variety of circumstances.  At least that’s what the Airlines want you to think.

 
Last Minute Tickets
We all have done it we wait until we have the funds to buy the tickets, or we buy them the night before in hopes that there is still a seat left on the plane.  The Airlines love this they probably charge an extra hundred dollars to the last ten tickets for any flight. Funny thing is when I go to the store if there is only one roll of tissue on the shelf the grocer doesn’t slap a higher price on it because it’s the last roll.  Try to buy your tickets in advance I try to start looking for my July 4th vacation in January.  Of course that’s extreme (I can be OCD) but give yourself about 4 to 6 weeks to start looking.  
 
Destination Popularity
You would expect a ticket to Jamaica to be more expensive but why is a ticket from one state to another just as expensive sometimes.  Well it’s because the Airlines try to predict where everyone will be going.  Say it’s time for the Superbowl and the teams are going to be playing in Tampa, then you should expect flights to Florida to go up.  The airlines will add an extra hundred or two on to the fare just because they can. 
Singapore Airlines (SIA/SQ) Airbus A380 (9V-SK...

Singapore Airlines (SIA/SQ) Airbus A380 (9V-SKA) landing on 20C at Singapore Changi Airport. Taken with a Nikon D80 and AF 70-300 f/4-5.6G lens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Filled to Capacity
According to an article on USATODAY.com titled “Why Do Airline Prices change so much?” by Brendan McGulgan,

“The major factor in determining airline prices is whether an airline believes it will be able to fill all of their seats. If there is a long lag in sales, resulting in a flight still being well below occupancy as the departure approaches, prices might undergo a major dip. Conversely, if there is a spike in sales for some reason, and the flight begins to fill up, prices will increase.”

This is exactly what I am talking about, people are paying whatever the Airlines want them to pay because they have no choice.  I understand the supply and demand concept but come on.  If other businesses operated like the Airlines we would all be poor and out of business.  Imagine you own a hot dog stand and you charge according to this approach.  Your first few customers would get a hot dog for a quarter and your next few get one for 50 cent, so by the end of the day your customers are paying 5 dollars for a hot dog.  Whoever buys the last hot dog in stock will pay out the wazoo,  is this fair.  

My Take:

I am sure other things besides the things I listed play a part in Airline Prices, it’s just hard to see any real pattern in pricing.  I also find it pretty coincidental that Five Airlines have the same number of “butts in seats” at the same time.  Why are all of the quotes you see the same?

Pricing is an important part of any marketing plan, and if your a business leader you should be aware of how people feel about your price.  So I hope the powers that be can see what I’m saying.  I don’t mind paying for tickets to get from point A to point B I just want to see some regulation in the area of Airfare prices. I don’t want to feel like a fool every time I buy a plane ticket.
When I get on the train or the bus it’s the same amount all day long, and it also doesn’t matter if the buss is full or empty I pay the same price all day.  I seriously believe the Airlines are bullying there customers out of money. 
Have you been burned looking for “Cheap Airfare” ? Or Perhaps there is some other business that has made you mad,  I would love to read your comments.  Who knows maybe your post will be my next Blog Topic.

 
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