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EWR-CLE... what is going on with these fares?

EWR-CLE... what is going on with these fares?

Old Nov 21, 12, 8:34 am
  #1  
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EWR-CLE... what is going on with these fares?

New to the forum because I've officially become perplexed over how they come up with the fares between EWR and CLE. If you try and book a flight and the time between your departing flight and your return flight is any less than three days the fares jump anywhere from $600-800. It doesn't matter what actual days your flights are on or how far in advance you try and book, its almost as if they're making you stay a certain amount of time.

I've been dealing with this for the last 6 months or so for work and so far it wasn't too big a deal for me because most trips were at least 3-4 days. But now I have to be out there 1/3 and because of this strange fare structure they have I HAVE TO fly out the morning of 1/1 and return 1/4 which is incredibly frustrating due to the holidays and all. The most perplexing part is if I try a EWR-PIT flight with a stop in CLE departing 1/3 and returning 1/4 the price is $249 whereas if I go direct EWR-CLE its ~$1200!!!!! How does that make sense? the connecting flight to PIT is the SAME flight as if I went direct to CLE?

Now that the rant is over, does anyone know why this is? I have never experienced anything like this flying out of EWR in the last 7 years of travelling to all parts of the country for both work and vaca.
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Old Nov 21, 12, 8:39 am
  #2  
 
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Are you pricing it out as a one way? It could be that you haven't met fare class requirements (i.e. round trip) for a cheaper fare.

although, to be fair, I know what you're talking about. Tried to get a friend a one way from NYC-MSY back in August. Every other airline out of the NYC area was the same price (about $125 for the one way - DL, AA, US, B6, etc.) but UA insisted on making their one way price $500+ - and on UX to boot!
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Old Nov 21, 12, 8:42 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by weirdlyndon View Post
Are you pricing it out as a one way? It could be that you haven't met fare class requirements (i.e. round trip) for a cheaper fare.

although, to be fair, I know what you're talking about. Tried to get a friend a one way from NYC-MSY back in August. Every other airline out of the NYC area was the same price (about $125 for the one way - DL, AA, US, B6, etc.) but UA insisted on making their one way price $500+ - and on UX to boot!
I like GPT as an alternate to MSY. In and out MUCH faster.
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Old Nov 21, 12, 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by weirdlyndon View Post
Are you pricing it out as a one way? It could be that you haven't met fare class requirements (i.e. round trip) for a cheaper fare.

although, to be fair, I know what you're talking about. Tried to get a friend a one way from NYC-MSY back in August. Every other airline out of the NYC area was the same price (about $125 for the one way - DL, AA, US, B6, etc.) but UA insisted on making their one way price $500+ - and on UX to boot!
No its a round trip. I just find it strange that if i try and book say a round trip flight from EWR-CLE leaving Newark on 12/11 and returning 12/12 or12/13 the price is ~$1100-1200, yet if I book 12/11 and return 12/14 its $285. I've tried any and all combination of dates between these airports... if you try and book a round trip with anything less than three days between the flights they bang you for over $1000, yet anything three days or more between flights its anywhere between $250-400. I've never experienced anything like this with any other airport in the country (keep in mind EWR is where I always fly out of). Is there some fee they get banged with by the state or city to try and make people spend more time there?
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Old Nov 21, 12, 8:56 am
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Rev management figures that anyone staying less than two days is on a business trip and can afford to pay it.

Also, they figure anyone flying direct EWR-CLE is willing to pay extra for the comfort of a nonstop, where as people flying EWR-CLE-PIT have to put up with a connection and therefore a lower price is needed to entice them onboard.
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Old Nov 21, 12, 8:56 am
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They have a captive market, EWR-CLE. They price in an attempt to maximize revenue from business travelers.
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Old Nov 21, 12, 8:59 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by durs836 View Post
New to the forum because I've officially become perplexed over how they come up with the fares between EWR and CLE. If you try and book a flight and the time between your departing flight and your return flight is any less than three days the fares jump anywhere from $600-800. It doesn't matter what actual days your flights are on or how far in advance you try and book, its almost as if they're making you stay a certain amount of time.
This is fairly standard for CO. I think you'll find the same behavior for EWR-IAH, and I expect we'll see it at some point (if not already) for certain other routes (e.g., EWR-DEN, IAD-SFO, etc.).

CO had fortress hubs at EWR, IAH, and CLE -- meaning that they dominate the traffic in and out of those hubs, and in many cases were the only nonstop carrier between them. This gave (and now gives to United) quite a bit of leeway to practice what's known in economics as price discrimination.

The basic idea of price discrimination is to sell a product to each customer at the maximum price that particular customer will pay. It costs the airline a fixed amount (say, $100) to fly an extra passenger rather than an empty seat. So they'd be willing to sell that seat for $101 if necessary -- and they will, if they can't get more. But if there's a customer who's willing to pay $500, the airline would rather get $500. Business travelers usually:

(a) are willing to pay more,

and

(b) demand nonstop flights if possible,
(c) don't want to spend the weekend at their destination,
(d) take short trips.
(e) purchase at the last minute.

So airlines (if they can) segment their market by selling cheap fares for leisure travel and expensive fares for business travel. They designate the cheap fares for leisure by insisting that they include one or more of the following:
(i) round-trip purchase,
(ii) Saturday night stay,
(iii) more than 3 days at destination,
(iv) advance purchase.

This used to be the norm. Now, thanks to Southwest, the major domestic carriers have been mostly forced to use subtler, less drastic forms of price discrimination. The exceptions are international travel, routes that Southwest doesn't fly, and certain high-business-travel fortress routes.

You happen to be on one of those routes, EWR-CLE, where there's a fair amount of business travel and CO completely dominates the market, and can get away with old-school price discrimination. So, in short, you're almost right. It's not that they want you to stay 3 days. They just know that on average, people who want to stay less than 3 days will pay through the nose for it. They do want you to stay less than 3 days -- but they want you to pay for it.
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Old Nov 21, 12, 9:06 am
  #8  
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LGA any better?
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Old Nov 21, 12, 9:15 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
LGA any better?
Haha... I do not mess with LGA or JFK from where I am in NJ. Just getting to those airports is about 1/3 the time it would take me to drive from NJ to Cleveland.
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Old Nov 21, 12, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by QBK View Post
This is fairly standard for CO. I think you'll find the same behavior for EWR-IAH, and I expect we'll see it at some point (if not already) for certain other routes (e.g., EWR-DEN, IAD-SFO, etc.).

CO had fortress hubs at EWR, IAH, and CLE -- meaning that they dominate the traffic in and out of those hubs, and in many cases were the only nonstop carrier between them. This gave (and now gives to United) quite a bit of leeway to practice what's known in economics as price discrimination.

The basic idea of price discrimination is to sell a product to each customer at the maximum price that particular customer will pay. It costs the airline a fixed amount (say, $100) to fly an extra passenger rather than an empty seat. So they'd be willing to sell that seat for $101 if necessary -- and they will, if they can't get more. But if there's a customer who's willing to pay $500, the airline would rather get $500. Business travelers usually:

(a) are willing to pay more,

and

(b) demand nonstop flights if possible,
(c) don't want to spend the weekend at their destination,
(d) take short trips.
(e) purchase at the last minute.

So airlines (if they can) segment their market by selling cheap fares for leisure travel and expensive fares for business travel. They designate the cheap fares for leisure by insisting that they include one or more of the following:
(i) round-trip purchase,
(ii) Saturday night stay,
(iii) more than 3 days at destination,
(iv) advance purchase.

This used to be the norm. Now, thanks to Southwest, the major domestic carriers have been mostly forced to use subtler, less drastic forms of price discrimination. The exceptions are international travel, routes that Southwest doesn't fly, and certain high-business-travel fortress routes.

You happen to be on one of those routes, EWR-CLE, where there's a fair amount of business travel and CO completely dominates the market, and can get away with old-school price discrimination. So, in short, you're almost right. It's not that they want you to stay 3 days. They just know that on average, people who want to stay less than 3 days will pay through the nose for it. They do want you to stay less than 3 days -- but they want you to pay for it.
Makes sense... it blows for me but it makes sense.
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Old Nov 21, 12, 9:22 am
  #11  
 
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EWR-PIT nonstop fares have the same kind of pricing.

If you are making a one time or occasional trip, you are pretty much screwed. If it's a regular thing, try buying the tickets in a way to get Saturday stays i.e. buy a one-way EWR-CLE on a Monday morning, then a series of CLE-EWR roundtrips leaving Fridays and returning Mondays. Just make sure you don't nest any tickets or skip any segments.
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Old Nov 21, 12, 10:01 am
  #12  
 
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Regarding EWR-CLE-EWR 12/18-19.

If you book two one way tix
EWR-CLE-PIT = $388, get off in CLE, obviously
EWR-CLE = $599 non-stop, $574 with stops

CLE-EWR-BOS = $435
CLE-EWR-IAD = $435
CLE-EWR = $599 ns, 547 with stops

Round trip:
EWR-CLE-EWR = $1115ns, $1112 with stops.

So, you could save ~30% with a two one-way, drop the second leg approach...
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Old Nov 21, 12, 10:02 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by durs836 View Post
Haha... I do not mess with LGA or JFK from where I am in NJ. Just getting to those airports is about 1/3 the time it would take me to drive from NJ to Cleveland.
jersey you say... have you checked PHL?
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Old Nov 21, 12, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by WIRunner View Post
jersey you say... have you checked PHL?
Yeah PHL wasn't much better and its still over an hour for me each way. I'm stuck midway between Philly and NYC, and EWR is only 20 minutes each way so I'd be more effort and time to try and game the system than to suck it up and stay a few extra days in "lovely" Cleveland.
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Old Nov 21, 12, 10:17 am
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Makes you miss the People Express days. $49:00 one way with no advance. I fly this route a lot, usually take advantage of the weekend specials for $161.00 RT at one time it was $78 bucks RT. For the average person to pay over $1,000 is not realistic as If you are going to NYC you still have to pay for hotels and meals.
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