Ridiculously uncompetitive airfares?

Old May 17, 20, 6:44 pm
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Insane SFO-NYC prices in June?

What’s up with the prices on United flights to EWR/LGA in June? They are charging minimum $600 round trip, and around $1000 on most.
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Old May 17, 20, 7:23 pm
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Ridiculously uncompetitive airfares?

Looking at an ORD-LAX itinerary for June 17-22. American (and a couple other airlines) price out at about $200. United... almost $800. Basically the whole week. I can't recall ever seeing such a huge price difference on what would normally be a pretty competitive route.

Is this a fluke?
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Old May 17, 20, 7:34 pm
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I get so many crazy fares constantly that aren't competitive like the one you mentioned I am left scratching my head wondering what management is thinking. If someone looking for a ticket sees a crazy price like that I can see them searching another airline for a better price, so one can't help but wonder how much money is UA losing by these overpriced fares? Most of the time, I do search for fares out of HNL using the UA app on my phone and have wondered if it has anything to do with it because there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to how the fares are sorted. Were you also using the app to search for the fare you found?
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Old May 17, 20, 7:39 pm
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I keep thinking those ridiculous high fares are there to consume all the ETCs and FFCs out there and get them off the book.
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Old May 17, 20, 7:44 pm
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Regarding ORD-LAX fare

Looks like the loads, and they are high on the UA flights based on seatmap (may not be a good indicator, though).
The lowest fare is H fare for the dates you are looking at. If leaving on June 19, the fare is lowered by $250, and if you are even more flexible, the RT fare are below $300.

I would not say United is not competitive. With limited flights, the planes are actually loading up fast. I purchased a ticket last Monday for a RT between DC and South Florida for later this month and return in June. The fare was $350 when I purchased it, and within less than a week, it is now over $1,000. I just checked the load, and the fights are almost full.
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Last edited by UA_Flyer; May 17, 20 at 8:28 pm
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Old May 17, 20, 7:45 pm
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Originally Posted by raehl311 View Post
...
Is this a fluke?
No,What’s going on July 4 weekend? lack of bookable flight options pre-4th

Combination of people waiting to cancel flights and surge in demand

Reported UA is increasing aircraft gauge in the upcoming week to respond to the surge
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Old May 17, 20, 7:57 pm
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UA running double the price HNL-SFO roundtrip compared to the competitors most dates in June.....
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Old May 17, 20, 8:05 pm
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I've seen these crazy pricing fares as well, not that I have any intention of going anywhere. I guess they are assuming that the only people flying have to no matter what, and will pay, and leisure travelers are staying home.

Air travel is going to be hell for a long time. No lounges, health fears, bottled water only in Y, no liquor in F, no true opportunities for social distance whatsoever even on a 1/2 booked narrow body. Now, raise the fares, and seal the deal that nobody itching to get a small getaway in and test the waters.

Add to that virtually no restaurants/bars open in terminals. You'd think they'd lower the fares, and try to offer more than bottled water.

I'm an addict of flight and hotel, but I'm going nowhere in these conditions.
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Old May 17, 20, 8:16 pm
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I have to fly IAH-EWR in a few weeks, my dates are semi flexible but I still can't get anything for less than a grand unless I want to fly in a 545AM connection through ORD.
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Old May 17, 20, 8:31 pm
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Originally Posted by thomsonc View Post
I get so many crazy fares constantly that aren't competitive like the one you mentioned I am left scratching my head wondering what management is thinking. If someone looking for a ticket sees a crazy price like that I can see them searching another airline for a better price, so one can't help but wonder how much money is UA losing by these overpriced fares?
I suspect that this is less "what is management thinking" than a side-effect of cutting their schedule by 90%. Inventory is a complete mess right now, and none of UA's historic load data is doing them any good at all right now. All airlines are flying blind, and they're taking different approaches.

Originally Posted by khkchan View Post
I keep thinking those ridiculous high fares are there to consume all the ETCs and FFCs out there and get them off the book.
UA has a cash burn problem, not a balance sheet problem. The ETC/FFC balance is a long-term liability, but it's not their current focus. They're trying to take in cash, not draw down the value of the certificates they've already issued.

Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
Looks like the loads, and they are fairly good on the UA flights based on seatmap (may not be a good indicator, though).
The lowest fare is H fare for the dates you are looking at. If leaving on June 19, the fare is lowered by $250, and if you are even more flexible, the RT fare are below $300.
This. This is what happens when you run 3-4 flights a day on a route that normally has over 20 (ORD-NYC).

Originally Posted by JerseyCityS View Post
I guess they are assuming that the only people flying have to no matter what, and will pay, and leisure travelers are staying home.
Indeed, that's part of it.

Originally Posted by JerseyCityS View Post
Air travel is going to be hell for a long time. No lounges, health fears, bottled water only in Y, no liquor in F, no true opportunities for social distance whatsoever even on a 1/2 booked narrow body.
Repeal the mask rule, and I'm in!

Originally Posted by JerseyCityS View Post
Now, raise the fares, and seal the deal that nobody itching to get a small getaway in and test the waters.
I think that's the practical effect, but I don't think it's the motivation.

Originally Posted by JerseyCityS View Post
Add to that virtually no restaurants/bars open in terminals. You'd think they'd lower the fares, and try to offer more than bottled water.

I'm an addict of flight and hotel, but I'm going nowhere in these conditions.
But I think you made the point there. Would you be any more likely to travel is they lowed the fares and offered you a soda? I'm guessing not.
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Old May 17, 20, 9:27 pm
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I have no idea how UA Inventory Management is set up now with only 10% capacity. It feels like they are using their old algorithms and selling a few seats in low buckets then zeroing those out and pushing higher buckets. In the old days we'd simply look at other UA flights on those days and be flexible. Now with 1 flight (in many cases) the only option is OAL. I think they need to spend time analyzing when (and how early) to upgage to take advantage of the demand.
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Old May 17, 20, 9:36 pm
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DL and UA greatly reduced June schedules last weekend. AA also did significant reductions in June the weekend before, but did not go as far as UA/DL. Cranky Flier has an analysis on his website. All the reductions has resulted in people with existing reservations getting consolidated on a smaller number of flights and combined with the seat blocking is leaving few seats for sale on many flights. This is likely causing issues with the rev management software and it is only releasing inventory in the top few fare buckets. DL is somewhat reacting to it by having 3-day and 14-day advance purchase fare caps on routes. These are Y-basis fares, but they are non-refundable and have advance purchase requirements and are a lot less than the full Y fares. So even when there is very limited bucket inventory on a flight, the fare will typically be less than the YBMH fares on the route. For example, MSP-LAX has a 14-day advance Y fare (fare basis Y912TU) on DL for $248 one-way which caps the fare as long as you purchase at least 14 days out. While UA only has $468 one-way M fares available on MSP-LAX on a number of days in June because there is only bucket inventory in YBM classes on the flights.
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Last edited by xliioper; May 17, 20 at 9:42 pm
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Old May 18, 20, 12:04 am
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Just dropped about $250 one way West Coast to DEN. Not normal by all means.
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Old May 18, 20, 1:46 am
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Originally Posted by JerseyCityS View Post
I guess they are assuming that the only people flying have to no matter what, and will pay, and leisure travelers are staying home.
I mean I definitely need to go so I would for sure pay $800 for this flight if that's what it cost.

But not when I can fly American for $200.

And I haven't bought a non-UA ticket (to a destination UA flies) in maybe 7-8 years, so it's not like I wouldn't pay a little more to stay United, but there's limits.
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Old May 18, 20, 4:42 am
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Tickets from EWR to RSW are running about $400 each way. UA only has a single non-stop daily and NO competition anymore as previously there was Spirit and/or JetBlue. But, this may be our new reality as the airline is flying low load but making the same money as if flying 80%.
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