The Reason Airline Tickets Prices Appear To Be Gouged Ahead Of Irma

September 7, 2017

There is no question that Florida will experience the wrath of hurricane Irma as forecast models show the storm remaining a category 4 storm with winds from 130-156mph up to 50 miles from the eye.  That has prompted many people to purchase one way airplane tickets out of the Sunshine State before Irma strikes.  However people are reporting sharp spikes in ticket prices. A Connecticut man who purchased a one-way ticket from Miami to Hartford for his daughter for $159.20 on Monday evening noticed a huge price increase when he checked into buying a ticket for her roommate the following morning. The same ticket has jumped to $1,020. Another woman reported a flight from Miami to Phoenix price jumped from $547 to over $3,200.  But the airlines say they have not increased tickets prices and have actually dropped prices, sent larger airplanes to Florida and are allowing passengers to change their tickets without the regular fees in anticipation of increased passenger counts.  Come to find out the perceived price gouging is actually an algorithmic computer glitch.  As more and more people look into buying tickets on planes using web sites, the computer programs used travel web sites increase the prices.  A simple supply and demand however not all people looking are buying but the web sites don’t know this and inflated prices are shown.  In both examples a phone call to the airlines cleared up the price disparities.  In short, if you are planning on purchasing flights to escape Irma, it is best to avoid online shopping and call the airline direct.

SOURCE: The Consumerist

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