Ridiculous LA-SFO fares

 
Old Apr 27, 06, 7:57 am
  #1  
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Ridiculous LA-SFO fares

I have flown UA LAX-SFO for many many years. I need to take some last-minute trips in the next few weeks, for which I need refundable and changeable tickets. Based on passed experience, I expected to pay $350-400 -- a rather outrageous fare but I could rationalize based on the fast I will be upgraded. Now I discover the fare to be in the $650 range while Southwest's highest fare is $250. There is really no way I can justify having my client pay this difference.

What is UA thinking? If I have to switch my intra-Califlornia business to SW, it may just change my whole approach to buying air tickets and loyalty. Unlike apparently the majority of fliers, I don't mind paying more for a better product, but $650 for a one hour flight is just nuts (and they're not nicely warmed).
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Old Apr 27, 06, 8:00 am
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mattmacinnis
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United has probably already sold their inventory of lower priced seats. Pretty simple.
 
Old Apr 27, 06, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by mattmacinnis
United has probably already sold their inventory of lower priced seats. Pretty simple.
Note that the OP is not talking about buying "lower priced" seats, but rather full Y seats.

I completely agree with the OP. I have seen more business travelers try WN from OAK or SJC simply because UA and AA want $400 more than WN for a full fare ticket on a <500 mile route. Most people I know would pay a $100 premium to use UA or AA out of SFO, but $400 is outrageous.
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Old Apr 27, 06, 8:29 am
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I potentially could be flying to the Bay Area weekly (SFO is closest to the location), and quick research on the LAX-SFO route took be aback. Even cheap plan-ahead tix are $178+, while to SJC is $118+. What's up with this market (besides high loads I guess).

Prices are wild, but good for the airlines I guess. WN might be in my future.
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Old Apr 27, 06, 8:33 am
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There's a W, V and Q all pretty cheap, but from there it jumps sharply. Pretty much all of the fares in this market are restricted in some way and come out of small inventories from what I've observed, as there is so much connecting traffic that shuttles back and forth. You can buy yourself a nice QUP for almost $900 The best advice is to fly from OAK or SJC or you won't see UA metal for a long time
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Old Apr 27, 06, 8:43 am
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Also, be sure to look at BUR or ONT (Ted) if you are desperate.
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Old Apr 27, 06, 9:10 am
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I miss PSA
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Old Apr 27, 06, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by sfolawyer
Now I discover the fare to be in the $650 range while Southwest's highest fare is $250.
Hmm...I fly this route a lot. In the past (with my discount it) has still been in the $420 range. This week it was $520 or so. This is for a B fare.
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Old Apr 27, 06, 11:03 am
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Advance purchase fares from ONT are usually $177 to SFO and to LAX is $194 or so. Ever since WN increased their fares from Oak-LAX from $39 to $59 (sometimes $77) o/w, AA and UA have followed with substantial increases. Although it doesn't help you if you need fully refundable fares, efares are sometimes competitive (but only work for the weekend of course), usually $126, seen as low as $106 over Easter.
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Old Apr 27, 06, 11:30 am
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Originally Posted by olympicnut
I miss PSA
It's back--sort of. US recently repainted an A319 in PSA livery.

@:-) To find out more: search for "N742PS"
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Old Apr 27, 06, 11:33 am
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I have been steaming about this for some time. I have assumed that the competitive transcon fares have forced shorter flights in key markets to go way up, but I don't know. For awhile, there were some early morning departures OAK-LAX that were pricing around $98-118 while SFO-LAX kept creeping up.

It almost makes one reconsider driving, although the gas prices are keeping pace with airfares.

I am trying to use miles where I can't get a decent fare. Computing the cost per mile on the 15K short-haul awards makes me feel a little better...but you can burn through those pretty quickly!

As a 1P, if I fly a transcon for $250 and can squeeze 7,000 miles out of it, I will receive 14,000 miles...so that is basically a free SFO-LAX ticket.
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Old Apr 27, 06, 12:09 pm
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I complained about SNA-OAK fares in this thread last month:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=541389
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Old Apr 27, 06, 12:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Condition One
I complained about SNA-OAK fares in this thread last month:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=541389
I always complain about SNA-Anywhere fares

My ideal commute (should it arise) would be SNA-SFO.... in fact, much to the happiest of some on this OMNI thread I could do that commute without driving at all!

But, due to costs, I would likely have to fly LAX-SJC, which means I have to drive to LAX, and possibly rent a car at SJC (CalTrain takes too long, I think).
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Old Apr 27, 06, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by mattmacinnis
United has probably already sold their inventory of lower priced seats. Pretty simple.
Yep - I would see what a QUAUP fare goes for - could be cheaper (And changable) than a BUA/YUA.

If that does not work, I am sure WN will have a terrific seat for you!!!
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Old Apr 27, 06, 12:26 pm
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A good week ago, I booked 2 LAX-SFO-LAX flights (travel will be in Mid May)for less than $190 each in coach. I'll try to upgrade them with 500 milers. Seems to be a better deal than paying $900 each for confirmed F.
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