16 Responses

  1. Emily
    Emily at |

    Nate Silver can keep writing about anything he wants, since he is a genius. I liked the article until that last snarky comment.

  2. Kris Ziel
    Kris Ziel at |

    Anyone misguided enough to make those claims cannot be labeled a genius. I have gone to PHL via IAD for $293. The price to go to IAD on those same exact flights was $350. Going to SIN via NRT (an extra 3300 miles) is hundreds cheaper than going to NRT on the same flights. Miles doesn’t seem to have much of an impact, sure you aren’t going to get a DEN-GJT fare for the same as DEN-ORD-HKG-SIN, but you can easily get the latter for cheaper than DEN-ORD-FRA, which is about half as many miles and half as many layovers.

  3. Yosef Greenberg
    Yosef Greenberg at |

    Excellent article. Really covers the issue well. I knew Nate was wrong when I first saw his article; especially the weekend buying tip.

    That last comment wasn’t needed though.

  4. Is Airfare Pricing Unfair, and Should it Be Based on Non-stop Distance Between Each City Pair? - View from the Wing

    […] Newark has far more non-stop destinations than JFK, as Wandering Aramean notes. (And while that may entail lower costs, it also involves greater demand and New York’s […]

  5. AS
    AS at |

    What an arrogant close, your highness.

  6. FiveThirtyEight: Reads & Reactions | Il Neurone USA

    […] Who knew airfield pricing was such a quarrelsome subject? At BoardingArea, dual bloggers took critical emanate with Nate’s rankings of a many over- and under-priced airports: Gary Leff during View From a Wing and Seth during The Wandering Aramean. […]

  7. Reads & Reactions | new york
    Reads & Reactions | new york at |

    […] Who knew airfield pricing was such a quarrelsome subject? At BoardingArea, dual bloggers took critical emanate with Nate’s rankings of a many over- and under-priced airports: Gary Leff during View From a Wing and Seth during The Wandering Aramean. […]

  8. giantslor
    giantslor at |

    I’m pretty sure you can still be a genius even if you’re not right 100% of the time.

  9. Which US Airports have the Most Unfair Fares? (incl. Ranking Tables) - FlyerTalk Forums

    […] be impeccably calculated but they are based on assumptions that are so ridiculously erroneous that the entirety of the conclusion is suspect. Too bad, because he's apparently a smart guy on some topics. He just doesn't understand air […]

  10. Another awesomely awful statistical analysis of airlines - The Wandering Aramean

    […] season of producing bad statistical interpretations of the airline industry. First there was the NY Times piece that failed quite notably to account for the primary factors of airfare pricing. And now we have the annual Airline Quality […]

  11. Greg
    Greg at |

    I’m not going to claim that Silver gets everything right in his article, but the following misses the point entirely:
    “The first factor cited – distance traveled – is probably one of the last things that actually comes into play when airlines are figuring domestic market pricing.” The question Silver addresses is not how airlines actually come up with their price schemes, it’s whether or not they are fair to the traveler. Admittedly, it’s not so easy to define what “fair” should mean, but I bet most travelers would indeed consider it fair to pay more to fly further, all other variables being equal. Kris Ziel also misses the point with “I have gone to PHL via IAD for $293. The price to go to IAD on those same exact flights was $350.” Once again, Silver isn’t disputing that pricing schemes like this exist. He’s arguing that it’s hard to consider such pricing fair. (And I would argue that any system where this happens goes well beyond the world of fair and unfair into flat out absurd. Half a cup of coffee should never cost more than a cup of coffee in any rational system.

  12. Grayson
    Grayson at |

    I’m not sure I understand the suggestion that the distance of the journey shouldn’t have much of an impact on the price. Maybe this is because I know more about air travel in Europe and Asia than in the US, though…

    Outside of the USA, a longer journey will usually cost rather a lot more than a shorter one (though of course this is only one factor) when the plane is full because fuel is the biggest cost of flying. It just costs more to get a plane from London to Moscow than it does to get that same plane from London to Paris.

    Similarly, I can get from London to New York for a LOT less money than I can get to Los Angeles (which is almost twice as far away).

    Are things really all that different in the US domestic market?

  13. NY Times: Airfare rules shouldn’t matter - The Wandering Aramean

    […] His last post about which airports are most expensive was certainly a fun read, particularly as I disagree with many of his points. This week he brings up another topic – hidden-city ticketing – and has decided that […]

  14. UAL's Investor Day (Highlights: Route, Gauge Changes; $ Cuts) - Page 32 - FlyerTalk Forums

    […] / sbm12 called BS on the infamous Mr. Silver! How the NY Times got it so wrong on airline pricing http://blog.wandr.me/2011/04/how-the…rline-pricing/ "Yesterday had a bit of a buzz on the internet regarding a piece about airfare pricing from […]