Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Supply-and-demand ... or rip-off?

Consider this:

That shows the air-fares between New York JFK and Miami over the next month. Malcolm would suggest it could be parallelled almost anywhere in the Western world (but, since he does not dare annoy those lines which will be conveying him and his over the next few days, he looked further afield).

The chart illustrates quite nicely the grasping quality of our "service" industries.

Air fares are a commodity, like bread or whatever. Like bread or whatever, one must expect some variation according to circumstances. But a differential of 300%? How can that be justified?

Air travel is unlike bread or whatever in one important respect: it is oligopolistic, and quite obviously a grand cartel. To that extent, it is more like the market for oil, or, to come down to basics, "take-it-or-leave-it".

So much for "open skies".

The derisory term for passengers in the industry is, apparently "SLF" (self-loading freight). As we all prepare to be herded into cattle class, we may meditate on an extra beatitude:
Blessed are they who expect noting, for they will not be disappointed.
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Anonymous said...

Well, there aren't open skies in the states. Hence these flights are pretty expensive in comparison to a similar distance in the WU.

Actually, the profit on most of the flights probably isn't great. I'll bet the airlines in the states make most of their money in November and December.

Anonymous said...

EU, even

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