Because travel sucks ... now more than ever.

Pennies for Dollars

Wed, 2008/06/04 - 21:33 by aargh

The Times recently reported this gem: the old Saturday-night stay rule is making a comeback.

I wouldn't call it so much a rule, more of tax. For those of you lucky enough to have never heard of this: if you book a flight that doesn't include a Saturday night stay -- say, leave on a Monday and return on Thursday -- the airline will find a way to fatten your fare.

According to the article only some major airlines have (quietly) begun to do this. But we all know that airlines, like lemmings and banks, are hip to follow a leader. It's only a matter of time before this is commonplace.

So what?

Raise a glass if your initial reaction was, "oh, had airlines repealed the Saturday night stay rule?"

What's one more variable in airlines' fare calculations? Their pricing models would send Wall Street quants running for the exits.

A few cents at a time

Baggage fees, booking fees, you're-in-an-airport-on-a-Saturday-fees... all to address rising fuel costs. They're collecting pennies to fill dollar-sized holes, I say. Why waste the time? I much preferred United's earlier move to simply trim the fleet and cut back on service. We can expect the other airlines to follow suit, and per Econ 101, ticket prices will rise as the pool of air travel options shrinks.

The Mother(#!%@$*) of Invention

In a way, I look forward to it. Just as rising fuel prices should spurn automobile innovation, steep increases in air fares should give videoconferencing and other alternatives to face-to-face meetings a much-needed boost.

That, and maybe now the US will get a worthy high-speed rail system.

I can dream ...

Extra reading for extra credit:

"It’s Back: The Minimum Stay"

"Eight reasons higher prices will do us a world of good"