Spring 2021- Abnormally High Fares?

Old Mar 24, 21, 7:38 pm
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Spring 2021- Abnormally High Fares?

I'm combing dates to book a trip from CMH to DAB at some point in the April-May timeframe and there's nothing less than $319 r/t, with some dates into the $500 range. Meanwhile, AA, which is typically exorbitant into DAB, is reasonable in the $250-300 r/t neighborhood; in some cases, I could book F on AA for the same price as Y on DL.

I haven't seen fares like this on DL with the city pair since the mid-to-late 2000s where DAB was an afterthought because MCO was almost always $100-200 cheaper per person.

Recouping some of the lost revenue from another month with empty seats, perhaps?

edit- There's what's seemingly an unusually high number of refundable Y fares left on planes which appear to be mostly empty. I'm lost.
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Old Mar 24, 21, 7:47 pm
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DL cut back far too much and their algorithms are being particularly revenue-happy.

That, plus donít forget that DL is still seat blocking while AA is not. Multiple people have reported higher than 2019 prices in DL F very recently despite the service cutbacks.

With regards to the Y-only availability, this could be because schedule changes are coming in about 24 hours (on Saturday). This usually happens to a flight if it is changing or being cancelled, or it is brand new and has just been added (it takes them a few days to add the lower fare buckets in, for whatever reason).
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Old Mar 24, 21, 10:02 pm
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Originally Posted by btonkid12345 View Post
DL cut back far too much and their algorithms are being particularly revenue-happy.

That, plus donít forget that DL is still seat blocking while AA is not. Multiple people have reported higher than 2019 prices in DL F very recently despite the service cutbacks.

With regards to the Y-only availability, this could be because schedule changes are coming in about 24 hours (on Saturday). This usually happens to a flight if it is changing or being cancelled, or it is brand new and has just been added (it takes them a few days to add the lower fare buckets in, for whatever reason).
All true points, but a lot of it just happens to do with your destination. Florida and other sunny destinations have the highest demand right now plus there are a ton of people that have relocated to FL boosting demand. Fly any place else right now and its incredibly cheap - my recent and upcoming trips are half the price of last year. Rental cars on the other hand are another story - wow they are pricy!
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Old Mar 24, 21, 10:29 pm
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Originally Posted by btonkid12345 View Post
DL cut back far too much and their algorithms are being particularly revenue-happy.

That, plus donít forget that DL is still seat blocking while AA is not. Multiple people have reported higher than 2019 prices in DL F very recently despite the service cutbacks.

With regards to the Y-only availability, this could be because schedule changes are coming in about 24 hours (on Saturday). This usually happens to a flight if it is changing or being cancelled, or it is brand new and has just been added (it takes them a few days to add the lower fare buckets in, for whatever reason).
Today is Wednesday. In what world are Wed and Sat about 24 hours apart?
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Old Mar 25, 21, 1:17 am
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Originally Posted by JSprague24 View Post
edit- There's what's seemingly an unusually high number of refundable Y fares left on planes which appear to be mostly empty. I'm lost.
Not really seeing this other than on peak demand dates like Friday/Saturday departures and Sunday returns. You don't mention what dates you are looking at. DL knows that there will be higher demand for these departures even though the flights may be mostly empty now. Note that the refundable fares start at $299 one-way for 21-day advance purchase L fares (there are also refundable 14-day advance K fares). L is not very high up in the fare hierarchy and if lower buckets are empty you'll end up with a refundable fare. The main differences between AA and DL fares appears to be that DL has Basic Economy fares on this route which have an $80 roundtrip upcharge ($40 each way) for main cabin, while all of AA fares are main cabin. This leaves DL at a pretty distinct competitive disadvantage for people who don't want BE fares.

Last edited by xliioper; Mar 25, 21 at 1:46 am
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Old Mar 25, 21, 6:00 am
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If your flight is in May, check back again now. DL removed all inventory caps in the month of May (back to 100% capacity) and some of the lower fare buckets have been opening back up on many routes.
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Old Mar 25, 21, 6:20 am
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Check the prices to MCO (Orlando). You will always find lower fares than flying through DAB. BTW, it is about an hour from Daytona Beach to the Orlando airport.
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Old Mar 25, 21, 6:59 am
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Originally Posted by pfreet View Post
Check the prices to MCO (Orlando). You will always find lower fares than flying through DAB. BTW, it is about an hour from Daytona Beach to the Orlando airport.
Ironically on my upcoming flight in April, it was significantly cheaper to fly out of MLB than it was to fly out of MCO. MCO is ~20 mins closer to my house but I typically end up leaving around the same time to head to MLB as I do to MCO. With MLB being so small, I can park and show up 50 mins prior to departure and still have time to spare before boarding. I could never do that in MCO.
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Old Mar 25, 21, 7:36 am
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As others have noted, demand is rapidly resurging. Domestic leisure bookings (i.e. the flights you are trying to book) are back to about 80-90% of 2019 levels (and may even cross 100% in the next week or two). Any flight in April is going to be higher priced than competitors due to middle seat blocking.

Airlines have reallocated capacity to these leisure routes, but supply is now lagging demand. Delta did a *massive* culling of low fare availability buckets about two weeks ago (at least ex-ATL city pairs - I can't speak for others). Any domestic flight to leisure destinations this summer won't be cheap. There will still be deals to be found on select international routes and perhaps more business-oriented domestic city pairs.

People are getting vaccinated or confident on the date when they will be vaccinated and are booking accordingly. Stimulus continues to juice the economy and some families are going to be getting $7,000+ extra cash from Uncle Sam. All of that is impacting booking demand.
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Old Mar 25, 21, 7:49 am
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I think their system is still catching up from the big schedule change last weekend. I just saw this morning some V fares return on some routes I have been following, out of my home town, where yesterday it was Q or higher.
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Old Mar 25, 21, 8:09 am
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Originally Posted by blitzcon View Post
I think their system is still catching up from the big schedule change last weekend. I just saw this morning some V fares return on some routes I have been following, out of my home town, where yesterday it was Q or higher.
They removed the capacity restrictions on inventory for May flights overnight. Full flights are returning May 1st.
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Old Mar 25, 21, 8:32 am
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I was in DTW earlier this week and needed to make an itin change to go see a certain EV manufacturer in central IL.
So I call DL, and I say, hey I need to get to BMI. DL: we don't have anything from DTW... Me: ok, how's about:
PIA...we don't fly there anymore
MLI...we don't fly there anymore
MDW...we don't fly there anymore. Seriously???

So, I have them book me to ORD, and then they wanted $700+ for the ORD-RDU return tonight (via ATL)... So I booked F on a UA non-stop for $275.

DL isn't making it easy to stay loyal. Heck, I'm getting close to Silver status on UA. Might have to start hanging out in their FT threads.
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Old Mar 25, 21, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by HDQDD View Post
I was in DTW earlier this week and needed to make an itin change to go see a certain EV manufacturer in central IL.
So I call DL, and I say, hey I need to get to BMI. DL: we don't have anything from DTW... Me: ok, how's about:
PIA...we don't fly there anymore
MLI...we don't fly there anymore
MDW...we don't fly there anymore. Seriously???

So, I have them book me to ORD, and then they wanted $700+ for the ORD-RDU return tonight (via ATL)... So I booked F on a UA non-stop for $275.

DL isn't making it easy to stay loyal. Heck, I'm getting close to Silver status on UA. Might have to start hanging out in their FT threads.
Fly whoever makes it easiest. You're obviously going to have more options out of ORD on United and AA than Delta, especially when your endpoint (RDU) is not a hub.

Delta does fly DTW-BMI but not every day. They do fly ATL-BMI daily so you could have done your return from there at a reasonable time (flight at 4 PM, RDU by 10 PM).
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Last edited by ethernal; Mar 25, 21 at 8:51 am
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