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Anonymous asked in TravelAir Travel · 7 years ago

Why are plane tickets so expensive?

I got two issues

1) Why are tickets to major cities so expensive? Isn't business suppose to be booming there? Why would they need extra money? I priced a ticket to JFK and it was like $1000+, then I priced one to Canada and it was $400. How the hell can an international ticket be cheaper? Even a ticket to Jamaica is like $500 round trip

2) Why are last minute tickets so expensive? Wouldn't they wanna fill those seats asap? What the point of exploiting people who are in desperate need simply to make a profit? I have to go to CA due to an emergency, the ticket was $475. When I finally found my credit cars and looked up the ticket again it jumped up to $1200 just because it leaves in 7 hours from now.

It just doesn't make any sense, why would they not wanna fill those 1 or 2 seats and sell them for a reasonable price?

6 Answers

  • Ranger
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favourite answer

    International tickets are controlled by treaties between the US and those other countries. There is no treaty inside the US, the companies can charge as much as they want.

    Last minute tickets are expensive because it works the other way around. Purchase a ticket far in advance and it will be cheaper because they want to sell enough tickets to meet expenses. Once they have met expenses, they can hold out for top dollar on the remaining tickets.

    I fly frequently, and it has been several years since there was empty seats on an aircraft. Every flight I have been on has been oversold and the airline ask for people to volunteer to give up their seat.

    Source(s): rc
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  • Mike
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    It costs a lot to run an airline. Maintenance is very expensive, parts are expensive, and regulatory compliance is expensive.

    JFK is an extremely expensive airport to fly into... the airline has to pay the New York Port Authority a lot of money to land a plane at that airport. It's also one of the busiest destination airports in the country.

    Last minute tickets are expensive because they do not want people buying tickets last minute. Another huge expense to airlines is fuel... and they fuel futures far in advance... so they are paying the price of fuel today, for a flight that might happen in 6 months. They need to sell a majority of the seats far in advance to make the economics of air travel work.

    Airlines barely make a profit... margins are very, very thin. The US Government makes significantly more on TAX REVENUE on air tickets vs the airline.

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  • C.M. C
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Wolf, it makes a lot of sense. Here is an example when you saw the price for $475, you should have already had your credit card in your hot little hand. When you saw that price, there could have been 60 seats left, by the time you went searching for the credit card, do you have any idea how many others were looking to book on the same flight. As seats fill, the prices increase, this has been a fact of life for a number of years now.

    Business may be booming on a number of routes, because they are popular routes and receiver more bookings thus enabling the airlines to put on more flights. It's called putting bums in seats.

    Also, have you got an idea how much the cost is, every time those Dunlops hit the runways to land. Have you any idea what it costs in refueling, loaders and unloaders, luggage sorters, Cabin crew, flight crew, ground crews.

    All people think about is the cost of a ticket, and how cheap they can get it for, and have no consideration for anything else.

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  • 7 years ago

    1) I'm not too sure about the reasoning behind the price hike for specific places, but the other answers seem to cover that pretty well.

    2) Last minute tickets are expensive because the airlines want to encourage people to buy early so they can organise the tickets as soon as possible. This way, they can estimate the number of cabin crew needed, amount of food/beverages to pack, which aircraft to use, the approximate amount of fuel needed to get safely from A to B.

    It takes a while (sometimes over 2 months) to plan all of this out and significantly longer to actually get it together - can you honestly imagine an airline being prepared to do all of that in the space of an hour? Me neither. However, that would be the consequence if they made those last-minute tickets cheap - 100's of ticket purchases less than an hour before take-off.

    Source(s): Recent flyer and obsessed with all things airplane :)
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  • 7 years ago

    1) Yes, exactly, business is booming. The airlines make the majority of their money from business travelers--leisure travelers going on vacation don't provide enough customers to keep the airline in business. They need your business, of course, but leisure travelers are a much lower priority. That's why frequent flier programs exist and have some really nice benefits! To keep those business people coming back.

    2) That's also why last minute tickets are expensive. As someone pointed out, business trips can be arranged in as little as a couple days in advance. The price you see is what the airline would like to charge, but no one would vacation for that price. Since vacations are planned well in advance, consider a lower advanced purchase price to be a service to leisure travelers.

    Another reason is that the airports of major cities often charge higher landing fees to the airlines. Yes, airlines have to pay the airport to take off (and land there). Major business centers know that people will come there no matter what they charge. People aren't going to stop doing business on Wall Street because it costs too much to go to NY! Tourist sites and small cities know they have to compete. Las Vegas knows if it charged too much, some people would just go to Atlantic City or somewhere else closer.

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  • 7 years ago

    The reason last minute tickets are so expensive is that business travelers often buy last minute and are the highest revenue passengers for almost all airlines.

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