Fare sweet spot for 2nd half 2020 travel

Old Apr 15, 20, 12:10 am
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Fare sweet spot for 2nd half 2020 travel

Looking for thoughts on where some sweet deals may be had latter part of 2020 or early 2021. Intl or Dom, Y or J. Just throwing it out there. Don't make this into yet another gd Covid thread. Thanks!
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Old Apr 15, 20, 12:37 am
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Who knows, because of non-forcastable effects of coronavirus?
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Old Apr 15, 20, 4:51 am
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Fare sweet spots will likely be everywhere where UA opened up flights but sees little demand.
Impossible to predict.

(It probably won't be AVP-ABE, though.)
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Old Apr 15, 20, 5:00 am
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I doubt very much that there are going to be any sweet spot deals (or that much travel at all) in H2 2020. But then what is the point of speculating this complete unknown?
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Old Apr 15, 20, 7:54 am
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There is basically no way to know - there are titanic forces pulling on both sides: 10% load factors would imply lower prices to fill empty seats, but the few people traveling right now are largely price-insensitive and they need to get respectable prices for the few seats they do sell.
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Old Apr 15, 20, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by Hawkeyefan View Post
Looking for thoughts on where some sweet deals may be had latter part of 2020 or early 2021. Intl or Dom, Y or J. Just throwing it out there. Don't make this into yet another gd Covid thread. Thanks!
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unit...ghts-life.html

...well, how much would you?

++++++

The sweet spots will be where fixed capacity greatly exceeds demand and the carriers discount fares to move the seats.

If daily 2019 Q3/Q4 demand on SFO ↔ SYD could only fill an EMB175, but the smallest aircraft UA could place on the route was a 789, then there will be a glut of seats which UA must operate on the route which will go empty. Since CASM is weighted heavily towards fixed costs over variable costs there will be tremendous pressure to discount fares to goose demand.

Last edited by J.Edward; Apr 16, 20 at 9:38 am Reason: VBB clean up
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Old Apr 15, 20, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by J.Edward View Post

If daily 2019 Q3/Q4 demand on SFO ↔ SYD could only fill an EMB175, but the smallest aircraft UA could place on the route was a 789, then there will be a glut of seats which UA must operate on the route which will go empty. Since CASM is weighted heavily towards fixed costs over variable costs there will be tremendous pressure to discount fares to goose demand.
This also means fares will not drop until flights resume and loads are low. Impossible to plan on travel to destinations with great fares now.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 5:56 am
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I doubt there will be any sweet spots or low fares. UA is going down to 10% capacity from May, and the company is going to look very different come October. Travel is down 97%. The only people who are travelling have to travel. I suspect UA has figured this out.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 7:34 am
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UA's goal, just like every other carrier, is to maintain service at a reasonable PRASM. There will be fits and starts and thus occasions when some great deals show up. But, for the most part those will be few and far between and random from the consumer perspective.

If UA can't support a route at reasonable fares, capacity not fares will be cut.

The longer term will be significantly more expensive fares and also much less solicitude for those who book and then find that their destination is no longer what they had hoped it would be.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 8:40 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
UA's goal, just like every other carrier, is to maintain service at a reasonable PRASM. There will be fits and starts and thus occasions when some great deals show up. But, for the most part those will be few and far between and random from the consumer perspective.

If UA can't support a route at reasonable fares, capacity not fares will be cut.

The longer term will be significantly more expensive fares and also much less solicitude for those who book and then find that their destination is no longer what they had hoped it would be.
Since UA accepted the Cares Act money, they will have to maintain domestic service to cities that were serviced in the past. (See link for details). That does not mean that they have to maintain the same frequency, just service. So if CLE-ORD has 1 flight a day (down from 6 before Covid), that will suffice.

Given that there is no "demand" for flying other than those that have to, then there is no incentive to discount prices no matter whether 1 seat or 100 seats are filled. The plane has to fly. If you are expecting only 1 passenger on it, charge the standard fare. You are not chasing any other passengers away
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Old Apr 16, 20, 9:15 am
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Ditto radonc1 . This was mentioned on CNBC yesterday. The CNBC analyst said that the airlines have concluded that anyone traveling now is doing so because they have to, thus is very insensitive to price, thus the airlines will not be attempting to stimulate demand by lowering prices. You can also conclude from United's announcement to its employees yesterday that they do not expect this to change this year.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 11:08 am
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Award space in Business has been available. Although United sort of led us to believe dynamic award pricing would be tied to demand, that looks like that's been a complete lie. More seats are available in advance that are normally not, but UA is still charging a lot of miles for them.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Award space in Business has been available. Although United sort of led us to believe dynamic award pricing would be tied to demand, that looks like that's been a complete lie. More seats are available in advance that are normally not, but UA is still charging a lot of miles for them.
I'm assuming there is some sort of mileage floor for all fares.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by WIRunner View Post
I'm assuming there is some sort of mileage floor for all fares.
I'm sure there is, but UA isn't letting the mileage drop to those floors, even w/ empty planes. Example - I know IAH-LAS goes for as low as 6500 pre-covid, mid-week, off-hour. UA isn't lowering it to that on empty flights. The "demand pricing" is what UA "demands". I'm sure they have bigger problems, though, than award mileage levels

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Old Apr 16, 20, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by radonc1 View Post
Since UA accepted the Cares Act money, they will have to maintain domestic service to cities that were serviced in the past. (See link for details). That does not mean that they have to maintain the same frequency, just service. So if CLE-ORD has 1 flight a day (down from 6 before Covid), that will suffice. ....
UA and multiple other carriers have filed for a waiver of that requirement
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
UA applies to temporarily halt service to 18 domestic locations

Although this apparently happened a couple of days ago, somehow I didn't see a post about it. Per TPG (and a similar report I read today in USA Today), UA has applied for CARES waivers to halt (or postpone, for seasonal flights) service to 18 airports: BQN, FAI, VPS, GRB, GUC, ITO, HHH, ITH, OGG, AZO, KOA, LIH, MYR, STT, SPN, SJU, SAF, SUN. I know there was some speculation upthread that UA might stop flying to the outer Hawaiian islands; this appears to be confirmation of that plan. The DOT would have to agree before UA would be allowed to make these cuts. I suspect a decision will be coming soon; it also wouldn't surprise me if more cities were added to the list if the first batch is approved.
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