Gosh do I miss the good old days. Back when I first got into this hobby, $250 was expensive for a roundtrip transcon ticket. And most of my transcons included three connections in each direction, meaning I was flying about 4,000 miles in each direction.
Yes, airfare has progressively creeped up over the past few years, thanks largely to consolidation (and perhaps airlines realizing that losing 200 million dollars per quarter isn’t a sustainable business model… or something like that). But my gosh, ticket prices have gotten downright ridiculous. I’m trying to get to LA for a few nights over the coming months, so did an ITA search for a three night stay. Check out the best available fares on American:
So no matter how flexible I am with dates, there’s nothing for less than $500.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for a second blaming the airlines. $250 roundtrip transcons simply aren’t profitable for the airlines, so if they can get away with $500+ roundtrip fares, more power to them. But damn is it making my life difficult!
The interesting result is that international trips have actually become the most economical way to mileage run, despite the high fuel surcharges. I still see roundtrip tickets to China for $1,000, which net me about 20,000 elite qualifying miles. I’d need to do four transcon trips to net that many miles, and doing them at $250 a pop seems like a pipe dream nowadays.
Anyway, while I’ve just about requalified for Executive Platinum with American, I’m still itching to get out of Tampa on a semi-regular basis, and the current fares just make that near impossible.
Anyone else frustrated?