Living in Florida, we are not geographically close to major cities in the northeast such as Boston, Chicago, New York City and Washington D.C. The drive to those cities is long, a two-digit number.
When we don’t have the time, the energy and enough car mileage, our best bet is flying.
Most inventions in time decrease in price, such as computers, telephones and light bulbs.
The airplane, invented by the Wright Brothers, has brought us closer to the world, yet at an even higher price than a decade ago.
The high cost of airfare is high on my list for why I don’t travel as often.
The cost of traveling in the sky comes with a hefty higher cost.
There are many reasons for higher ticket prices.
1. First of all, there is less competition, hence less need for cheaper prices. As a result of bankruptcies and mergers, there are only four major airlines in the U.S. Soon there will be three, once American Airlines merges with US Airways.
2. Secondly, the price of airline fuel has increased tremendously. In 1996, airline fuel cost 55 cents per gallon and now costs $2.97 per gallon.
3. Airline taxes and security fees have also increased, adding onto the base fare. Some fees are: September 11 Security Fee ($2.50), Passenger facility charges ($4.50), U.S. Immigration User Fee ($7).
As a result of 9/11 and the recession, the demand for air travel has decreased. To compensate, airlines reduced both the number of routes they offered and the frequency of their flights.
With the increase of airline prices, the increase of airport security checks and the decrease in perception of customer service the whole experience of air travelling can be annoyance.
One particular instance of the speedy-fluctuation and over-pricing of flights has aggravated me.
Two years ago, my family booked tickets from Orlando to Raleigh/Durham.
One-way tickets through Southwest Airlines were $80 (with all fees included). I did not have my schedule finalized and opted to purchase a ticket later. I found out I was free to travel with my family. Two days after my family’s purchase, I found the same flight was priced at $150.
Needless to say, I did not pay $150 for a flight that, in my mind, was valued at $80.
After my family’s flight, I was informed that the airplane was very empty. Every person could take up a row.
What was the point of increasing the price of a flight so much that no one flew in it?
That day, Southwest could have had my business for $80, not for $150. But instead it opted for $0 in profit.
I missed a family trip and Southwest missed on $80. It’s a lose-lose situation.