why so many fares??


Aug 20, 2002
$178 $218 $218 $356 $409 $409 $416 $469 $469 $520 $538 $578 $598 $738 $838

These are the airfares listed on USAirways.com for my search of PIT to SAN using the new price search feature.

First, why are there 15 fares listed?

Second, you''d think the lowest fare of $178 would have a limited time frame, but this airfare last well into 2004.

Third, which airfares do you think most of the public would choose during this recession period?

Just curious what U guys think about this. Doesn''t it make more sense to have, oh I don''t know, 4 fares that are a resonable price so that U still makes money? How much money would U make if the entire plane was filled with the lowest fare purchased? And cudos to Ben and crew for giving PIT such low fares knowing we would choose U over AWA most of the time. Sneaky bugger!!


Dec 19, 2002
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About 10 years ago, Bob Crandall started a program at American Airlines to rationalize fares. American would charge fares in four tiers only. The highest fare unrestricted, and the lower three tiers with increasing, but unchanging, restrictions. Many consider Crandall to be a true SOB (and maybe he his,) but when it comes to airline management he will go down in history as one of the true visionaries. Among other things, he was instrumental in developing computerized res systems, and he invented the frequent flyer program. His system of the simplified, four tier fare structure was an elegant solution to the confusing fare mess we still face.

What happened to his plan? American put it in place hoping the other carriers would follow suit. Northwest (it always seems to be those Northwest yahoos) started one of their countless, incessant fare wars as a response to American''s plan. Crandall was pretty much forced to declare defeat and pulled the plug on the four-tier fare plan within a month.

Had the new concept been given a chance to take root, it might just be that none of the airlines would find themselves in the mess they are in right now. Thanks, Northwest, for this and all your fare wars. Maybe the plummeting Far East market is your karma coming back around to bite you.