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The pain persists: Exploring the spatiotemporal trends in air fares and itinerary pricing in the United States, 2002–2013

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  • Wei, Fangwu
  • Grubesic, Tony H.

Abstract

In the United States, the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 prompted higher levels of service frequency between large and/or popular markets, lowering associated fares, on average. However, deregulation also increased financial instability within the commercial air transport industry, reduced quality of service, increased passenger fees and accelerated changes in the operational configurations of networks through hubbing, dehubbing, mergers and acquisitions. Over time, these market forces have squeezed service to/from smaller communities through schedule reductions and higher fares, creating “pockets of pain†in the air transport landscape. The purpose of this paper is to explore the uneven spatiotemporal distribution of air fares, by airports and associated flight segments, examining both symmetries and asymmetries in fare patterns over time and across space. Results suggest that several significant pockets of pain still exist within the U.S., and that asymmetries in air fares creates a lopsided fare structure for many smaller markets, further aggravating the fare imbalances spawned by deregulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Wei, Fangwu & Grubesic, Tony H., 2016. "The pain persists: Exploring the spatiotemporal trends in air fares and itinerary pricing in the United States, 2002–2013," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 107-121.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaitra:v:57:y:2016:i:c:p:107-121
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jairtraman.2016.07.018
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