Airlines rarely let us in on what it is that determines airfares. We board flights that look to be a good price for the value, but when we see how many stops, and how far off course they are, we would rather pay more to avoid the inconvenience. Above all that, there are different prices per airline, and even the initial fares considered, are changed by the time we circle back around. So what gives? Why are airlines so fickle on pricing? It is due to an unregulated wild-west market that fully depends on the supply and demand.
In this wild-west pricing scheme, airlines charge travelers on a per-mile basis known as yield. Since airline deregulation in 1978, yield is completely up to airlines and those who travel for convenience usually bare the brunt of overpriced tickets. This is because these customers are more likely to pay for whatever is available than comparison shop. So how do we avoid high priced airfare? A bit of it has to do with comparing the average airline price, and perks included in the flight. We can do that by the simple math of dividing the ticket price per mile, or taking a look at airline balance reports that will show you price per mile.
Once you get that standard figure, also consider what a particular airline can fetch per ticket due to their reputation, and also the amount of people flying at a particular time. We encourage frequent travelers who travel out of necessity, or have a little extra money to comparison shop anyway because airlines will get what they can get.
Do not despair either, because there is a such thing as competition. Companies like Southwest Airlines
are offering new cheap routes that the big guys definitely need to be concerned about. The more we look into extravagant airfares and choose the best fares, the better, more competitive prices have to become.