I was shopping for airfares for my Dad to visit. Newark to Orlando route usually through Jetblue. My father is a nervous flyer without much patience so I usually book the earliest flight of the day on a Saturday to hopefully avoid traffic and delays. Was I in for a shock when I priced Jetblue's Flight number 517 which depars EWR at 8am. Why is the earliest flight of the day so expensive? $396 one way! Is this the most popular time to fly now. Seems like an admission from the airline that flying out of Newark airport is just a delay waiting to happen. Guess I am in for some price research.
I was looking in November (before Thanksgiving) and December (before Christmas). The first flight of the day in some cases is double the fare of other times. The trend seems to be the later afternoon flights are a little less costly. Unfortunately Newark airport being one of the worst airports in the country in regards to on time departures we have always felt you had a better shot leaving on time earlier in the day.
Going with the "supply and demand" statement others have made, this flight probably had lower fares when they were first released, but as people (knowing Newark is delay-prone) booked the early flight, all cheaper seats got sold. Remember, just because a flight says the fare is $149 each way doesn't mean there are 100 seats at this price....likely there are only 10 or possibly less.
Going with the "supply and demand" statement others have made, this flight probably had lower fares when they were first released,...
Not likely, actually.
JetBlue (and many other airlines) often start with somewhat higher fares when the schedule first opens up based on the theory that anyone shopping that far ahead likely has very specific needs and lacks flexibility and will pay the premium. Only after they see how many seats they can sell at the higher prices will they open up some cheap seats.