What a difference a bit of competition can make in the market. As the sole operator currently on the Newark – Boston route, Continental Airlines can charge pretty much whatever they want, and they do. A one-way ticket on the route is $415; there are no advance purchase discounts and for stays shorter than 3 nights even buying a return ticket doesn’t offer a discount.
As of this morning, however, JetBlue has loaded fares into the GDSes and is selling seats on that route with service starting on May 4, 2011. Look at the difference in the fare chart:
Indeed, things are much more reasonable suddenly from a passenger perspective. Take a look at the range of one-way fares that JetBlue has published on the route:
Even without the introductory promo fare the high end of the range is well below today’s costs from Continental:
Also of interest is that Continental has not yet updated their fares to acknowledge the new competition on the route. Granted, the JetBlue fares are brand new so it will take a bit of time for Continental to respond – likely later today – but for now the disparity is quite significant.
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