After Amtrak Crash, Are Airlines Price-Gouging NYC to DC Flights?
The airlines will call it capitalism and principles of supply and demand.
Others will say it’s opportunistic.
Still others will call it price-gouging.
Call it what you will, but the airlines seem to be taking advantage of the disruption of service in Amtrak’s popular Northeast Corridor rail service due to Tuesday’s tragic derailment that killed eight and injured more than 140.
Both CNN and the New York Daily News have reported airfares between New York and Washington D.C. have doubled – tripled, in some cases – for the popular route now that many Amtrak uses have been stranded in the wake of the accident.
The Daily News reported that “the cheapest Delta Air Lines flight this morning from Kennedy Airport to Dulles was nearly $700 departing at 11:15 a.m., according to the air carrier’s website. Other coach seats from JFK to Dulles were going for up to $1,769. Most flights on the U.S. Airways shuttle from Kennedy to Dulles were also fully booked. The few coach seats available for Friday were going for $953 to $1,178.”
And some of those flights weren’t even nonstop.
CNN noted that a typical roundtrip between New York and Washington can go for about $200 with advance purchase and up to $600 for a last-minute booking. These published fares in the wake of the Amtrak tragedy are far beyond that.
“It’s opportunism,” travel expert George Hobica told the Daily News. “The airlines know it’s a big business route and they can charge what they want.”
A quick TravelPulse.com check of an Amtrak reservation from New York to Washington a month from now shows that even a premium rail seat is $260 round trip.
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