State of the Airlines

Monday, January 10, 2005

NEWS: The Twin Cities Hub Premium

Ahhh I love it when they dust off this classic. The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a pretty fair article on the lastest study showing that the good folks in the Twin Cities tend to pay more for tickets than folks with a decent low fare airline presence. Northwest Airlines defends their pricing saying that their fares are falling and that the large percentage of last minute business flyers contribute to the higher than average ticket prices. Same arguement they give almost every time this arguement comes up. My take...Northwest provides a benefit in the form of non-stops and international flights that might otherwise not exist. The flip side is that the Twin Cities pay more, no matter which way Northwest wants to spin this information. Northwest has one of the best protected hubs in the country. With no viable second airport, an airport expansion plan that is "Northwest-centric" and the ability to dump a ton of capacity into any market it is unlikely that relief (in the form of a low cost carrier) is coming any time soon. But the bottom line is that I can't blame Northwest for their pricing policy. It the customer will pay more then you should by all means take advantage.