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Why is there such a cost disparity between US Airways flights in Wilmington and the same flights in Raleigh?

Patrick Gannon
StarNews

Supply and demand.

Gary Broughton, ILM operations director in Wilmington, keeps track of fares regularly from ILM, Myrtle Beach and Raleigh.

The RDU airport in Raleigh, he said, has low-cost carriers, such as Southwest Airlines, which compete with US Airways, keeping its fares down there. At ILM, US Airways has little competition. (The reader who asked this question pointed to a recent Philadelphia/Wilmington round-trip flight at nearly $400, compared to a Philadelphia/Raleigh flight for $104.)

While ILM will probably never match the fares out of RDU, the goal is to keep them within $100 round-trip, Broughton said. That way, it isn’t worth it for Southeastern North Carolina passengers to drive to RDU and fly from there.

Michelle Mohr, a spokeswoman for US Airways, didn’t want to get much into pricing strategies but said fares can vary widely between markets.

Fares, in general, are based on simple supply and demand economics, she said. Many other variables go into it, including the time and date of a flight and the season of the year.

On Sept. 25, the StarNews checked on flights two weeks in advance. A round-trip US Airways flight leaving ILM Oct. 9 and returning from Philadelphia Oct. 12 cost $440, with two stops.

The same flight from RDU cost $133, with no stops, a difference of $307.

To get the best fares, Broughton said, check early and often. For US Airways’ fares, Mohr suggested going to USAirways.com and use the “Low Fare Finder” or e-Savers features.

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One Response to “ Why is there such a cost disparity between US Airways flights in Wilmington and the same flights in Raleigh?”

  1. On October 2, 2009 at 6:12 pm CA wrote:

    I guess I want be flying out Wilmington next month. Sounds like US airways is ripping people off down here. It shouldn’t cost but maybe 20$ more.



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