Delta's Sky High Fares

 
Old Feb 16, 06, 9:16 pm
  #1  
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Delta's Sky High Fares

Sorry in advance for the long post. I have been watching Deltaís fares closely out of Salt Lake City for the last 10 years. Delta usually matches the competitionís fares. However, that all changed in the last few months. Below are fares (before taxes) for a few markets for 3-day one-way and 14-day advance roundtrip (to cover both the business and leisure traveler). The competition is also listed (out of SLC this is usually WN, but often HP, UA and F9).

One-Way, 3-Day Advance
SLC to LAX: $242 ($137 Others)
SLC to SNA: $499 ($139 Others)
SLC to BOS: $599 ($499 Others)
SLC to MCO: $299 ($185 Others)
SLC to PHX: $145 ($141 Others)
SLC to ORD: $360 ($215 Others)
SLC to SAN: $399 ($165 Others)
SLC to IAH: $299 ($185 Others)
SLC to SMF: $599 ($134 Others)
SLC to SFO: $346 ($149 Others)

Roundtrip 14-Day Advance (One Night Minimum Stay)
SLC to LAX: $222 ($182 Others)
SLC to SNA: $798 ($242 Others
SLC to BOS: $998 ($198 Others)
SLC to MCO: $399 ($238 Others)
SLC to PHX: $202 ($202 Others)
SLC to ORD: $300 ($198 Others)
SLC to SAN: $798 ($242 Others)
SLC to IAH: $280 ($280 Others)
SLC to SMF: $318 ($182 Others)
SLC to SFO: $572 ($198 Others)

Comments
1. Some of these fares are unreal. $499 to $599 one-way from SLC to SNA or SMF. Would anyone pay this? The yield guys in Atlanta must have new computers or something.
2. As a small business owner, we are flying far less Delta this year.
3. It seems that the spread between the highest fare (capped at $599 one-way and the lowest fares has narrowed).

Why is Delta doing this? Is this true of other markets? I know they need to raise revenue, but this is ridiculous. Delta needs to have its cost structure in-line so they can match the competition. Iím fine paying a 10% premium to fly Delta over the competition. I guess if they reduce capacity they can find a few people to pay these high fares. Iíd like Delta to survive, but not this way. Please, Delta, bring your fares back in-line so I can afford to fly you!

Happydad
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Old Feb 16, 06, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by happydad100
Is this true of other markets? I know they need to raise revenue, but this is ridiculous. Delta needs to have its cost structure in-line so they can match the competition. Iím fine paying a 10% premium to fly Delta over the competition. I guess if they reduce capacity they can find a few people to pay these high fares. Iíd like Delta to survive, but not this way. Please, Delta, bring your fares back in-line so I can afford to fly you!

Happydad
I have been watching fares between RDU-LAX for a weekend in April. Delta wants $460 for anything that is close to the times I would like. AA, WN, CO and NW are all in the $250-$320 range for the same time windows. I find it hard to justify a $140-$210 difference just to fly Delta. If they are getting people to pay the fares, then keep doing it, but in such a price sensitive market, I don't see how they are being competitive. Unfortunately, all my flying comes out of my pocket, so if Delta's fares don't come back in line with the rest of them, I may have to start being loyal to my wallet.
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Old Feb 16, 06, 9:40 pm
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They haven't been matching folk for a few months now, I wish someone had some inside info

But then, its just folk flying in the back...
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Old Feb 16, 06, 9:47 pm
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Noticed the Higher Prices Also

I have noticed something similar for flight JAX-LAS. Often these higher prices come down as the travel date approaches, sometimes not. This is in contrast to prices almost always increasing as the trip approaches in the past.

In looking at the segments I find that the ATL-SLC and CVG-SLC segments tend to be more heavily booked than the more direct routes. Something must be going on in this area this weekend because all the flight seem to be sold out.

Delta had introduced simplifares some time ago in response to their exceptionally high fares in CVG a captive market. These seem to have gone away with bankruptcy. Perhaps they also are no looking at SLC as a captive market also.
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Old Feb 16, 06, 9:55 pm
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It will be interesting to see what DL winds up charging for its new TLV-ATL flights.

Almost all international airlines will fly me to the US, often at bargain-basement prices. (My last trip to PBI -- on a Delta ticket -- cost me about $300 less than the SLC-BOS 14 day trip cited by happydad100.)

There are, however, no other airlines flying directly TLV-ATL. I can stop in Europe or NYC. Somehow, I doubt that the advantage of going straight into ATL -- especially for those continuing on to other cities -- will allow DL to up its prices very much.
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Old Feb 16, 06, 10:07 pm
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AGAIN, I point out that others are more expensive in certain markets.

SDF-BHM

DL $142
NW $172 (three seats available at this price according to expedia)
US $191
AA $414 ($693 with only one stop)
UA $510

Do I need to show other examples? Still, if Delta can somehow charge more and their planes are full, then all power to them. I DON'T believe that they can charge more, so overall it must be about even since I do see full planes.
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Old Feb 16, 06, 10:18 pm
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I recently had to book a last-minute MCO-PHL-MCO. DL wanted $581 for flights connecting in ATL, US wanted $374 for non-stops both ways. People here know that I'm a big supporter of Delta. I think I've also been pretty vocal about my opinion of US. At the end of the day, who got me as a passenger though?

Sigh... yes, I confessed, I actually FLEW US Airways. The flight up wasn't too bad (although there was only one really friendly FA - The others seemed to have serious attitude problems). The flight back tomorrow should be interesting - US has been unable to assign me a seat on that flight
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Old Feb 16, 06, 10:36 pm
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This thread is interesting to me because I only fly DL when their fares are much lower than other options, but that is consistently the case 3-4 times per year. I fly between PDX/SNA/SJC/LAS and BWI/LGA/JAX/BOS and, for some reason, they often blow away all of the competition (by a lot) within 2-3 days of flight time and on busy travel days. Perhaps what differentiates me from some of you that have had bad experiences, is that I only fly DL on routes with strong competition.
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Old Feb 17, 06, 12:13 am
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Originally Posted by happydad100
Why is Delta doing this? Is this true of other markets? I know they need to raise revenue, but this is ridiculous. Delta needs to have its cost structure in-line so they can match the competition. Iím fine paying a 10% premium to fly Delta over the competition. I guess if they reduce capacity they can find a few people to pay these high fares. Iíd like Delta to survive, but not this way. Please, Delta, bring your fares back in-line so I can afford to fly you!

Happydad
First, I don't know if your fares are a fair comparison. You could pick roundtrip 7-day advance purchase with a Saturday stay and DL would be more competitive. The examples you choose are more oriented to late notice business travelers who are likely to tolerate a higher fare to avoid an out of the way DEN or PHX connection and a 50%+ chance of at least once CRJ leg.

Yes, DL is pricing fares out of SLC above the competition, particularly UA and HP on flights to the west and F9 on flights to the east. WN is often lower, but the gap is not always significant. Time will tell if customers are willing to pay a premium for a non-stop or if they automatically book at delta.com, without shopping around.
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Old Feb 17, 06, 4:20 am
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I just booked a one way from MCO to CAK in the latter part of May for relative. DL wanted $130 in a jungle jet, and FL wanted $87 in a 717. FL got the business.

Also, I have noticed that DL between MCO to JFK is quite a lot more expensive than it used to be and I think that it is because B6 have raised their fares quite a bit. Overall, as a small business, DL is getting less of our $$ this year as their prices are way higher in many cases than others airlines.
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Old Feb 17, 06, 4:31 am
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delete

Last edited by tmorse6570; Sep 16, 07 at 6:44 am
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Old Feb 17, 06, 4:34 am
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Originally Posted by sxf24
First, I don't know if your fares are a fair comparison. You could pick roundtrip 7-day advance purchase with a Saturday stay and DL would be more competitive. The examples you choose are more oriented to late notice business travelers who are likely to tolerate a higher fare to avoid an out of the way DEN or PHX connection and a 50%+ chance of at least once CRJ leg.
Delta fares don't require a Saturday night stay. The T fares only require 3 night stay or a Saturday night stay.

Last edited by TTT; Feb 17, 06 at 11:06 am
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Old Feb 17, 06, 6:03 am
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Yea..but out of other people's hubs, DL doesn't seem to play the matching game either..

We're not talking about NW's discount transatlantic (which barely anyone ever matches nowdays) but just domestic routes.

Here at CO's home (IAH/HOU) DL rarely even matches CO's X/I fare nowdays.., say for IAH-MCO...
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Old Feb 17, 06, 6:38 am
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ATL-SEA is outrageous on DL. For that flight directs are great, but not for 60% more (~$330 versus $539). Thankfully AirTran is moving into this market with direct flights at least seasonally for the summer, and DL has been forced to match their $350 fares for these months.
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Old Feb 17, 06, 6:58 am
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I manage travel for a Fortune 50 company. To answer your question, yes, we'll pay those fares. I just booked three Delta round trip flights from CVG to ERI for $700 a pop. Other companies were half that cost.

So why did I book Delta? Two reasons. The main one is because they offered direct flights at convenient times whereas the others had layovers. When a guy is making $100-200 an hour, it doesn't make economic sense to book a flight that is inconvenient or that has a layover because that ends up being non-productive time. Nor does it make my managers, who devote hundreds of hours of their personal time on an airplane, happy to make them sit and wait in an airport.

The second reason I book Delta is because my managers are all frequent flyers. They have status on Delta because Cincinnati is a Delta hub. Status = privileges and perks. They have a better chance of getting bumped to first class, etc., and the airlines will bend over backwards to make them happy if their flight is bumped, etc. Even though Delta routinely robs us blind, I will usually book through them if possible, because it makes sense to keep the work horses of the company happy.
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