Travelocity: Always the lowest airfares



  • I was checking Travelocity for roundtrip airfare between Spokane and Seattle. The first page of results was about what I expected: typically $125 or so, and an hour's travel time each way. The second page of results was more interesting:


    [img]http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k19/Carnildo/Forums/travelocity.png[/img]



  • I wonder how good their super-ultra-über-luxury-mega-premium-firstclass service really is. Does the price include a couple of semi-naked young girls dancing for the passenger? Two magnum bottles of champagne?



  • @ammoQ said:

    I wonder how good their super-ultra-über-luxury-mega-premium-firstclass service really is. Does the price include a couple of semi-naked young girls dancing for the passenger? Two magnum bottles of champagne?

     

    I'm guessing the really expensive ones are first class and the reason why some of them are 7 hours+ is because of the layover (note that all of them have one stop).  Weird.



  • @Morbii said:

    I'm guessing the really expensive ones are first class and the reason why some of them are 7 hours+ is because of the layover (note that all of them have one stop).  Weird.

    Maybe they go  Spokane - Miami - Seattle... could explain both the price and the 7+ hours



  • @ammoQ said:

    Maybe they go  Spokane - Miami - Seattle... could explain both the price and the 7+ hours
    Or you could look at the screenshot where it states that they change at Denver. ;-)

     I don't know my U.S. geography so I'm guessing that Denver is out of the way?
     



  • @RayS said:

    @ammoQ said:

    Maybe they go  Spokane - Miami - Seattle... could explain both the price and the 7+ hours
    Or you could look at the screenshot where it states that they change at Denver. ;-)

    Ooops.

     

     I don't know my U.S. geography so I'm guessing that Denver is out of the way?

    Nearly half the way to Miami ;-) 



  • @ammoQ said:

    @RayS said:

     I don't know my U.S. geography so I'm guessing that Denver is out of the way?

    Nearly half the way to Miami ;-) 

    :-D 



  • There was one time when some train issues meant that if I wanted to get to my destination earlier than about noon, nationalrail.co.uk was telling me to catch a train the night before, then spend about six hours of the night in some station somewhere.

    It seems that for the journey above, you can't even stay within the same state, let alone fly direct. Unless the first page of results had such? But it sending you routes with changes in CA or CO is just plane stupid.



  • @m0ffx said:

    But it sending you routes with changes in CA or CO is just plane stupid.

    Ba-dum tish! 



  • @m0ffx said:

    But it sending you routes with changes in CA or CO is just plane stupid.

     

    Well, if the carrier doesn't offer a straight shot between two places, this is what happens. It's not really a WTF, but it is funny to see. 



  • I'd suggest that you drive at that price/time. It's only 5-7 hours depending on how fast you like to go.

     

    Just slow down through Moses Hole^H^H^H^HLake and Ellensburg. 



  • @RayS said:

    @ammoQ said:

    Maybe they go  Spokane - Miami - Seattle... could explain both the price and the 7+ hours
    Or you could look at the screenshot where it states that they change at Denver. ;-)

     I don't know my U.S. geography so I'm guessing that Denver is out of the way?
     

     
    I had to Google Map it -- not pretty :)



  • Let me 'splain something to you all about this, because I'm in the business.

    Going to Denver: a lot of airlines will fly you through a hub, even when they don't need to.  I've been booked from LaGuardia to Memphis to Orlando, and that includes two time-zone changes.  (That's -1 LGA->MEM, +1 MEM->MCO.)  Airlines just like hubs!  (It helps fill the planes.)  That being said, there's no reason I can think of that Spokane to SEA/TAC would require a side trip to Denver.  I suppose it's possible, but it's more likely to be an error in the returned availability list(s).  On the other hand, a lot of those United flights look like code-shares to me, so anything is possible.

    Next, it isn't a given that the really expensive fares represent anything other than coach.  There are usually at least 12 different classes of service in coach alone, and several of them are downright expensive.  Usually they're seats reserved for last-minute customers.  United 6693, for example, is run by SkyWest, a regional carrier, and wouldn't have First Class cabins anyway because the plane is a crop duster.  (Well, that's what we call it in our biz, anyhow--usually an Embraer turbo-prop with only one cabin, and that's designated coach by default.)

     



  • @RayS said:

    @ammoQ said:

    Maybe they go  Spokane - Miami - Seattle... could explain both the price and the 7+ hours
    Or you could look at the screenshot where it states that they change at Denver. ;-)

     I don't know my U.S. geography so I'm guessing that Denver is out of the way?


    It's out of the way like going from Glasgow to London via Berlin is out of the way.


    @m0ffx said:
    There was one time when some train issues meant that if I wanted to get to my destination earlier than about noon, nationalrail.co.uk was telling me to catch a train the night before, then spend about six hours of the night in some station somewhere.

    It seems that for the journey above, you can't even stay within the same state, let alone fly direct. Unless the first page of results had such? But it sending you routes with changes in CA or CO is just plane stupid.


    Spokane to Seattle is common enough.  The first page was almost entirely the morning commuter flights for people who live in Spokane but work in Seattle, with a few Spokane-to-Seattle flights via Portland.



  • Travel sites don't necessarily route you intelligently. 

     
    About two years ago, I was looking for ways to get from Albany, New York to Toronto, Ontario to attend YAPC::NA.  I found that I could take Air Canada from the Albany Airport, and that would fly directly to Toronto Pearson.  The price was good, and the travel time was pretty short (I would have spent more time at Albany waiting to board than in the air).  Further down the list, I found that I could take Delta, and that would take me from Albany to Atlanta, layover in Atlanta, and from Atlanta to Pearson.  The travel time and price were both ridiculous.
     

    Look at the last entry in the original post, and you will see the same WTF.  Spokane to Seattle by way of Denver?  WTF? 



  • Not a WTF.  The first page has the good stuff.  Later pages are scraping the bottom of the barrel of flight availability.  When it's a busy season, and someone's desperate for seats, you'd be surprised at what some people will buy.



  • @Jojosh_the_Pi said:

    Not a WTF.  The first page has the good stuff.  Later pages are scraping the bottom of the barrel of flight availability.  When it's a busy season, and someone's desperate for seats, you'd be surprised at what some people will buy.

    Driving time from Spokane to Seattle is five hours.  Any flight that takes longer than that is a WTF.



  • @Carnildo said:

    Spokane to Seattle is common enough. The first page was almost entirely the morning commuter flights for people who live in Spokane but work in Seattle, with a few Spokane-to-Seattle flights via Portland.

    Please tell me that there is no such such thing as people commuting DAILY by PLANE, please please??



  • @pinguis said:

    @Carnildo said:
    Spokane to Seattle is common enough. The first page was almost entirely the morning commuter flights for people who live in Spokane but work in Seattle, with a few Spokane-to-Seattle flights via Portland.

    Please tell me that there is no such such thing as people commuting DAILY by PLANE, please please??


    Daily commutes are mostly middle and upper management.  The Spokane suburbs are one of the best places in the state to raise a family, but the high-paying jobs that can support such a commute are mostly in Seattle.



  • @pinguis said:

    @Carnildo said:
    Spokane to Seattle is common enough. The first page was almost entirely the morning commuter flights for people who live in Spokane but work in Seattle, with a few Spokane-to-Seattle flights via Portland.

    Please tell me that there is no such such thing as people commuting DAILY by PLANE, please please??

    Someone's apparently never heard the phrase "commuter airline"

    Believe it or not, people use aircraft for more than just getting to vacations and long distance business travel.



  • @pinguis said:

    @Carnildo said:
    Spokane to Seattle is common enough. The first page was almost entirely the morning commuter flights for people who live in Spokane but work in Seattle, with a few Spokane-to-Seattle flights via Portland.

    Please tell me that there is no such such thing as people commuting DAILY by PLANE, please please??

     It's a one-hour flight. I know a lot of people who are willing to deal with a one-hour drive to commute, and even a couple who will do it on a bus. In my experience, a plane ride is often more comfortable than a bus, so why not? Besides, this way you get both the Seattle rain and the Spokane heat. Can't even get terribly bothered by the weather, 'cause it's sure to be different when you get home. ^_~

    But I definitely  agree that if your flight is gonna take you to Denver, driving is the way to do it. Any time the drive takes less time than the flight...sighs and shakes head



  • @BradleyS said:

     It's a one-hour flight. I know a lot of people who are willing to deal with a one-hour drive to commute, and even a couple who will do it on a bus. In my experience, a plane ride is often more comfortable than a bus, so why not? Besides, this way you get both the Seattle rain and the Spokane heat. Can't even get terribly bothered by the weather, 'cause it's sure to be different when you get home. ^_~

    But I definitely  agree that if your flight is gonna take you to Denver, driving is the way to do it. Any time the drive takes less time than the flight...sighs and shakes head



    One-hour flight, plus travel to and from the airport, plus dealing with boarding and security, etc. Probably ends up considerably more than an hour. Still, there are people who will spend that time commuting by other means. I'd be more concerned about the cost. Even considering discounts for daily use, that's got to add up.



  • I was surprised about it at first too. Being in a smaller country (England), commuting daily by plane is just a nonsensical idea. Considering pinguis is from Portugal, not surprising that he though the same. It wouldn't make sense there, either. In a larger country like the U.S., it's a feasible plan for high enough salaries.

    Then again, I have a 5 minute walk to work, so even a half hour drive seems excessive to me, never mind flying. I don't know how people do ~2 hour commutes (which that probably is with to/from airport travel both ways) each day, each way. I know some fools who spend 4-5 hours a day travelling, on top of their work hours. To my mind that almost halves your effective pay rate. shrug.



  • @BradleyS said:

    @pinguis said:

    @Carnildo said:
    Spokane to Seattle is common enough. The first page was almost entirely the morning commuter flights for people who live in Spokane but work in Seattle, with a few Spokane-to-Seattle flights via Portland.

    Please tell me that there is no such such thing as people commuting DAILY by PLANE, please please??

     It's a one-hour flight. I know a lot of people who are willing to deal with a one-hour drive to commute, and even a couple who will do it on a bus. In my experience, a plane ride is often more comfortable than a bus, so why not?

    My guess would be because it's insanely wasteful. ^_^
     



  • @RayS said:

    I was surprised about it at first too. Being in a smaller country (England), commuting daily by plane is just a nonsensical idea. Considering pinguis is from Portugal, not surprising that he though the same. It wouldn't make sense there, either. In a larger country like the U.S., it's a feasible plan for high enough salaries.

    Then again, I have a 5 minute walk to work, so even a half hour drive seems excessive to me, never mind flying. I don't know how people do ~2 hour commutes (which that probably is with to/from airport travel both ways) each day, each way. I know some fools who spend 4-5 hours a day travelling, on top of their work hours. To my mind that almost halves your effective pay rate. shrug.

    You are rigth on the money... The problem with long commutes (i have a one hour commute) is that is far more easy and frequent to change jobs than to change houses. Not to mention that where you work is just a factor in choosing where to live.

    The fact that someone chooses to comute by plane says (to me at least) alot about how some countrys manage their resources. The tendency SHOULD be to adopt economic mass transit (suburban train, tube, bus, your milage may vary) than by car, or gasp plane.

    As an aside, any of you know any other contrys were this happes besides the USA?



  • @m0ffx said:

    There was one time when some train issues meant that if I wanted to get to my destination earlier than about noon, nationalrail.co.uk was telling me to catch a train the night before, then spend about six hours of the night in some station somewhere. It seems that for the journey above, you can't even stay within the same state, let alone fly direct. Unless the first page of results had such? But it sending you routes with changes in CA or CO is just plane stupid.


    I actually did this once on a 4-exchange-train from London to North Wales. Not because I failed to notice, but because there were no other trains any time soon. I figured it couldn't be any worse than staying overnight in an airport. Turns out the stations close at night. I had to wait out the entire night on a park bench. Never again. 



  • @BradleyS said:

    Any time the drive takes less time than the flight...sighs and shakes head

    Note to self: when building an airline route planner, use this as a heuristic to filter candidates.

     



  • @Volmarias said:

    @pinguis said:
    @Carnildo said:
    Spokane to Seattle is common enough. The first page was almost entirely the morning commuter flights for people who live in Spokane but work in Seattle, with a few Spokane-to-Seattle flights via Portland.

    Please tell me that there is no such such thing as people commuting DAILY by PLANE, please please??

    Someone's apparently never heard the phrase "commuter airline"

    Believe it or not, people use aircraft for more than just getting to vacations and long distance business travel.

    "Hello, this is Travelocity, how can I help you?"

    "Yes, I'd like to take one of those computer planes to Pepsi-Cola, please."

    "Er, do you mean a commuter plane to Pensacola??"

    "Yeah, whatever."

    I still can't imagine spending $125 a day just to commute to work.  Talk about a high-paying job!  That's about $30k/year, in after-tax dollars, just to commute!
     



  • @SuperousOxide said:

    One-hour flight, plus travel to and from the airport, plus dealing with boarding and security, etc. Probably ends up considerably more than an hour. Still, there are people who will spend that time commuting by other means. I'd be more concerned about the cost. Even considering discounts for daily use, that's got to add up.

    At major airports, yes. But regional travel might be coming out of smaller, regional airports. I'm learning to fly helicopters (first solo flight this saturday, weather permitting!) and so far I have yet to be frisked by my flight instructor. Security is effectively nonexistant, because it's a small airstrip with one runway, and little traffic otherwise. Bear in mind that pilots are not exempt from security restrictions at major airports, so this isn't because I'm the one flying.

    odds are, you'll probably spend 15 minutes waiting at the airport at the worst, because you got there early so that you wouldn't miss the flight. Then, an hour long flight at much better speeds than highway/city travel. You'll probably end up saving quite a bit of time if you'd have to go far enough.

    As far as costs go, the people using commuter airlines are the ones with enough money to afford to live 3 hours away (by car) from their job. Say, living in Pennsylvania, and commuting to Washington, DC.



  • @RayS said:

    I was surprised about it at first too. Being in a smaller country (England), commuting daily by plane is just a nonsensical idea.

    It probably doesn't hurt that the cost to do anything aircraft related in the UK is hillariously big. It costs literally twice as much to learn to fly in the UK as it does in the US (thus the number of british pilots learning to fly in the states).



  • Small airports (in the US) are interesting these days.  I recently flew to Kirksville, Missouri and back.  The flight out was delayed and ended up being cancelled for mechanical reasons (aircraft problems -- the plane to fly us out never arrived on its incoming flight to that airport).  The later flight out of Kirksville that day would have had me stay overnight in the connecting city, so I opted to fly the next morning instead.

    The (only) ticket agent gave me his phone number at the airline's ticket desk, which was the only airline at the airport, so that I could call him the next morning to make sure the airplane actually arrived.  I called before I checked out of my hotel room (which was 10 minutes away).  It was very convenient.

    The airport had TWO TSA screening agents total.  The gate agent did double-duty and loaded the bags on the plane, which of course we walked to, on the tarmac... it was a 19-seat turboprop.  Once we were on the plane, the pilot turned around and said (without a microphone) "Hello everyone, welcome, " and so on.  Cool.



  • @mrprogguy said:

    Let me 'splain something to you all about this, because I'm in the business.

    Going to Denver: a lot of airlines will fly you through a hub, even when they don't need to.  I've been booked from LaGuardia to Memphis to Orlando, and that includes two time-zone changes.  (That's -1 LGA->MEM, +1 MEM->MCO.)  Airlines just like hubs!  (It helps fill the planes.)  That being said, there's no reason I can think of that Spokane to SEA/TAC would require a side trip to Denver.  I suppose it's possible, but it's more likely to be an error in the returned availability list(s).  On the other hand, a lot of those United flights look like code-shares to me, so anything is possible.

    It's not that United (since we seem to be picking on them) will refuse to fly direct from Spokane to Seattle, they will (see flights UAL 5730 through 5733).  As someone else pointed out, on later pages in Travelocity, you're scraping the bottom of the barrel.  Travelocity will happily turn up odd routings, and if the better routings are all booked up, well then the odd routings are useful all of a sudden, if you simply must travel that day!

    @mrprogguy said:

    Next, it isn't a given that the really expensive fares represent anything other than coach.  There are usually at least 12 different classes of service in coach alone, and several of them are downright expensive.  Usually they're seats reserved for last-minute customers.  United 6693, for example, is run by SkyWest, a regional carrier, and wouldn't have First Class cabins anyway because the plane is a crop duster. 

    Looks like UAL 6693 is a CRJ (specific model not identified).  Most CRJs operated by SkyWest have 2 or 3 rows of first/business class.  Well, the one I took last Sunday did.  I'll let you know if the one I take home tomorrow does too ;-)


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