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March 25, 2013

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UA 627 is a Premier Select (Ps) flight, so all of the seats are Economy Plus, Business class or First class.

The fare difference is likely the difference between Economy Plus and Economy. The benefit of the Ps flight is that it still tends to be business travelers and you can use miles to upgrade to Business class.

Unfortunately, that doesn't help your wife, but I hope she enjoys her trip anyhow.

This frustrates and angers us, but really, it is simply the law of supply and demand at work- albeit in a quickly-responsive way.
If you go to your local store and see an appliance priced at $599, and it sells out very quickly,
you might very well find that a month later, that store has raised the price to $699 because
they know there is a demand for the item.

That's all the airlines are doing. The difference is that their "product" is a seat on a flight so there is a very short window of time to assess demand and adjust prices. Unlike the appliance,
rapid selling of seats indicates demand and means that the airlines needs to raise the price NOW if they are to capitalize on it. Letting it go and raising the price on "the next flight", even if it's the exact same flight one week later, doesn't cut it, because there is no guarantee at all that the demand will be the same. The demand for a flight varies wildly depending on the date of the travel.

I'll go you one better.... How many times have you started reserving a flight through an on-line service like Travelocity, at one price, only to find that just as you are ready to click "confirm", the price goes up?? Yep... They are seeing a big demand on that flight and they are adjusting the price as instantly as they can.

It's not very nice, and can be very painful for us, the consumer. But it's like anything else.
They charge what they can get based on demand.

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