When is a sale not really a sale?!?

Apparently when an airline is advertising it.

I got an email from Continental this afternoon suggesting that now would be a great time to visit Las Vegas. And they’re advertising the low, low price of $566 round trip from LaGuardia. For starters, that’s a pretty high sale fare and not likely to drive a ton of business. But beyond that, they’re missing out on the fact that the fare they’re advertising isn’t even the best deal they have on offer.

LAS sale

Check out the fares they have published in the market:

LAS FlexFare

Indeed, there actually are a number of cheaper fares available and if you click the link in their email to search they’ll sell them to you:

LAS fares

I know that the airlines are working to increase their revenue and there are certainly a number of fares that are more expensive than they have been in recent memory, but when they cannot even publish a sale correctly maybe it is time to start wondering what the real issues are in their business model.

Needless to say, I didn’t bite on the "deal."

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. There is a reason why Continental was one of the weakest, if not the weakest, airlines financially going into the merger with United, and stuff like this may be one of the many causes. It is a shame that this type of crap will probably be a part of the new United, which was the strongest airline financially headed into the merger, but I don’t think it will be that way for much longer with the changes Smisek is making.

  2. Against my better judgment….

    In what was was Continental the weakest airline 2 years ago? Ditto for United being one of the strongest Please provide facts in the form of financial reports in the like.

    Beyond that, most of the airlines advertise “sales” that are anything but. United does it all the time, too.

  3. I’ll get back to you in a few days with the data to back it up, I am putting together a massive dataset on all of big five going back a few years that includes, rpm, rasm, revenue, operating profit, net profit, cash/short term investments, and debt.
    United was the strongest airline at the start of 2010, according to them (which is slightly biased, but when I looked at a few indicators back then, they were the strongest).

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