Saturday, December 04, 2004

An Industry that I do not understand


I recently took a business trip to Vancouver, BC. It was a last minute trip. I got the call to go on Monday afternoon to be there Wednesday morning. That's OK, I do last minute better than most. I get on the reservation tools looking at flights. I'm interested in getting there with minimal hassle and not looking to upset anyone with the price of the ticket. It's not long before I find a flight on American Airlines that has a reasonable layover in Dallas, TX.
That would be the first thing that I would question: Why does the best flight from North Carolina to Canada go through Texas. But I do understand how airlines operate hubs and DFW is American's hub. OK.

So now I've got my flight. There is a co-worker going with me on this trip. He happens to work in Dallas and, as these things happen, got his reservation on the same flight from DFW to Vancouver as me. So here is what will never make sense to me. We both bought tickets on the same day using the same tool and my ticket was $200 less for flying 2000 miles more. It's no wonder these people are going bankrupt. I guess if I had flown from England, I would have been routed through Mexico City and the ticket woutld have been twenty bucks.

When I fly on US Airways out of Charlotte, I get the same shaft. That is unless my destination is also being served by a discount carrier. In that case, US Air drops its price to the same as the discounter. Can we all say Price Fixing?!? When I am king, all airlines will charge by the mile with charges for each successful landing (unsuccessful landing are free). That will be the day.

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