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jperfect Nov 30, 10 1:17 am

Fare discrepancies
So today I was booking a flight to STL from EWR for next week, and I noticed this, which is quite odd.

You will see that both images contain the same flight at different prices off of Just took these now, so if there are any other late night-lurkers, you can confirm it yourselves. The only difference was instead of looking for EWR specifically, I got a lower price by searching NYC (surrounding).

Same flight, though at a much cheaper rate. Both "M" fare class.


jperfect Dec 4, 10 4:32 pm

Wow, I thought this would be interesting to at least someone...:o

ani90 Dec 4, 10 4:40 pm

Originally Posted by jperfect (Post 15381743)
Wow, I thought this would be interesting to at least someone...:o

Well there are numerous posts here a day, none of which have interested you enough to prompt a response or comment (from you), so why are you 'wowed' that no one responded to yours?;) Dont worry, responses will come in due course I am sure.

BTW welcome to FT...:)

chollie Dec 4, 10 4:40 pm

Wow. I don't know what to make of it, but I'm glad you posted it. I will take this into consideration next time I book a CO flight to/through EWR (will search via EWR and NYC).

It's kind of interesting that the cheaper fare seems to be making an assumption that the pax wants to continue to Manhattan (see the little ad for the Manhattan shuttle at the bottom). The higher fare seems to indicate an assumption that EWR is the final destination. I'm guessing that the lower fare is to compete with other carriers to JFK or LGA and the higher fare is because there's less competition (?) to EWR as a final destination? Something like that.

cbechdel Dec 4, 10 4:54 pm

I thought it was generally common knowledge that in markets with multiple airport choices, you get cheaper fares by searching for the market than specific airports. Basically if you want EWR they figure you will pay a premium and don't care, if you are shopping around, they will display cheaper prices, possibly getting you to LGA or JFK prices so as to be competitive with discount airlines that have strongholds in those markets versus CO's bearhug grasp on EWR.

But glad you brought it up. lots forget to search the metropolitan airports for better fares. Nad best part is you end up in EWR anyway with the cheaper fare.

It's been discussed before to some extent, but I'm convinced they also use cookies to track you checking fares, and when you bounce back, they jack the fare up. I've been in my office, looking at a flight, checked another came back to original and fare went up $100. Had a coworker who was to travel with me then book same flights, and he got the cheaper fare.

sbm12 Dec 4, 10 5:43 pm

I'd bet that if you picked the cheaper non-stop outbound you'd be offered a lower priced connection to LGA on the return to complete the lower priced ticket as there is competition on the STL-LGA market much more than in the STL-EWR market. CO displays the lowest possible fare on the first results page but you don't know what you have to do to get it until you click through to the second page. With an M outbound and an E or something like that return (which would be a STL-LGA fare, not a STL-EWR fare) you would pay less.

The difference is the EWR market versus LGA. Yes, they're both reasonably close to Manhattan but they are still different pricing markets for pretty much every airline.

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