I was reading a widely picked up Associated Press (AP) airfare story (via USA Today) this morning which was further highlighted in one of my favorite blogs “Today in the Sky” (Ben Mutazbaugh).
The premise and title of the article is that airfares are not up in some places “Airfares Aren’t Taking Off Everywhere”.
As I read the report what caught my eye first was the lead statement that there has been 22 airfare increases this year (not true there has been 22 system wide legacy airline attempted increases this year with 15 successes as documented in my blog in excruciating detail using our proprietary software – and not credited in the story — Update: AP contacted me to note there was a graphic with the info — crediting us — but it did not make the wire story.
Regardless of that small oversight (after all it is presidentialTV ad campaign season) what had me befuddled was the statement that “business fares were down for New York and Phoenix” – my first thought was that this would be awfully difficult since domestic fuel surcharges for business fares are up over $100 compared to last year (I recently posted a comprehensive domestic airline ticket fuel surcharge report). The only way this could be true is if the report they used didn’t include fuel surcharges (likely) in the price or that base prices were down $100 (unlikely)– (nor did they mention the fact that checked bag fees could apply to some business travelers also driving up out-the-door prices).
Of course now that I was curious a wrote a couple of database queries to pull last years and this year’s business airfare prices (3 day advance purchase) for New York and Phoenix from our historical databases (one the world’s largest) to the top 25 cities by traffic and this is what I found (average of cheapest price for every day in September for 3 day advance purchase — includes fuel surcharge and 7.5% sales tax):
While not up sharply compared to the rest of the country — certainly not “down”. It should be noted that outside the top 25 cities prices are up very sharply.