Airline Ticket Fares

Airline Ticket Fares
Flying is fun, paying for flying is not! Here's an analysis on why airline ticket fares are so high, should they be so high, and what we can do to get air tickets at reduced rates.
Traveling is an unavoidable thing in today's times, especially since most of our friends and relatives would invariably migrate to places outside the state and even national borders. One may also have to travel regularly for business purposes. An average person must fly once every six months (no citations here, this is purely my guess, and I am sure I am not way off my mark, either!)

Flying is inevitable, whether national or international. You might just as well sit back and enjoy the clouds. However, your enjoyment will not be undiluted, because there will be a hefty thought at the back of your mind. And that thought is - how much did the whole trip cost? Certainly, the cost is the most important factor that we need to keep in mind here.

Why are flying costs so unearthly high (no pun intended)? Does flying really deserve the four figure ticket fares? Is there any way to reduce these monstrously high prices?

Why Are They So High?
Quite simply put, airline ticket fares are high because they are running big costs in flying you from one place to another. The fuel burnt in three hours of flying would be enough to fuel all the cars on New York's busiest street for a day. And then there is the regular maintenance of the airplane, which is a huge cost in itself. There's really a motley crew of people who help you fly - right from the ticket issuing staff, to the people who check your baggage, to the stewards, the pilots, and the pretty air hostesses. They need payment too, and good payment at that.

And finally, we need to mention that flight carriers do maintain their élan. Even the most economic of economy flights will want to take you up in style. Needless to say, the money for this added flair comes from your credit card.

Do They Deserve To Be So High?
Ahem, ahem! I will surely be ruffling some airline tail feathers here. However, the truth is evident, so it's not much of a trespass. The truth is that most airlines, even some of the biggest names in the business, charge rates that are obscenely high to the costs that they are bearing. Agreed they are flying you in style and bearing huge costs for the fuel and crew, but they are also taking anywhere between 200 and 500 passengers up at one go. Sometimes even more than that! So, the companies are definitely covering their costs.

And they are earning much more. Most of the high-priced tickets would do a neat profit for the carrier even if the prices were slashed by half. If they flew a flight with only half the number of passengers of their full capacity, still they would make a profit. This is not true of all airlines though. The new carriers that are just starting out, hardly make anything more than what they spend. However, the ones who have established their names are certainly making barrels of money with each flight.

How To Bring Them Down
Yes, airline ticket fares are exorbitantly high, we all know that. Luckily, following some simple points might help you get tickets at cheap rates:
  • Ever heard of an air miles credit card? If you are a frequent flier, make sure you buy it. This is a normal credit card with similar features as regular credit cards, but with better savings if you spend on airline tickets. Whenever you book a ticket with this card, you get points. You can redeem the points at a later date when you book another flight. Typically, you might get one trip almost free after every six to eight bookings that you buy at full price.
  • Speaking of being a frequent flier, join the frequent flier program of your preferred airlines. These will give you better rewards. You will get points each time you make a purchase which you can redeem later on. Just think, if you are enrolled in a frequent flier program and also have an air miles credit card, you can save a lot.
  • Keep watching for promotional offers that come on the websites. Sometimes new carriers enter the business with promotional offers; and sometimes already established carrier services might be entering a new market. This depends on how lucky you are, though. There must be a promotional offer for the destination you want to go. For this, you can check out the travel operators' websites. Since these websites list a lot of flight carriers, you will stand a better chance to find some promotional offers up your alley.
  • Try waiting for last minute tickets. Most airlines have last minute tickets, because of cancellations or simply because some remain unsold. Certainly, the airlines would not want to hang on to these. More important than the loss, they will have to bear damage to their reputation when their airplanes fly below full capacity. That is why they will want to sell them to the first person who comes asking for them. If you turn up a couple of hours before scheduled flights at the airport, and specifically ask the agents for last minute tickets, you will get them if there are any. You can even negotiate for prices if the time is too short for the departure. Sometimes, even the websites will put up the last minute offers. If you find them, make a call to the airport office and make a reservation. Then leave for the airport, pay the reduced fare, get going.
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