Direct flight pricing rant!

Next week I need to fly to Denver so I was booking my trip today.

Although DEN is a United hub, United dropped all direct flights to Charlotte maybe 5 years ago so US Airways can cover them and just code share with UA.
US, the infamous LCC for low cost carrier (although operating costs do not equate to low prices for customers), wanted $1,900 for the route I wanted.
Delta wanted $707 and even Southwest wanted almost $800.

Who had the best price? American at just over $450 so I will be flying them.

I just can’t rationalize 4x as much for a direct. I didn’t even look at times it was so outlandish. I checked Delta times but they fit my schedule worse for this trip. I had to go with third place. At least when AA and US merge it might count for something. Otherwise I’m just a hub captive forced to pony up big bucks or connect. I’d rather have a job so I chose the connection.





  1. There’s always “hidden city” ticketing to get you on the nonstop CLT-DEN-XXX (but yes… it typically only works out in your favor if you’re flying just the one-way, and I’m sure you’re heading back to Charlotte – not to mention it’s “against” airline policies). 😉

    1. Yeah. Or it means I need to drive to CAE or GSP and connect in CLT.

      Plus wordpress rant…i scheduled this at 10 am, not 10 pm. Grrr!
      Day 2 without a laptop and i’m not doing so well!!

  2. Sometimes it is so frustrating. I have always thought that companies should stock pile airline miles and pay the “Standard” (full-price) price for award tickets. You might even save money going that way.

  3. Try flying out of GSO or RDU. I realize it’s a bit of a hike but fares much cheaper and the “hidden city” much better

    1. Because I can’t book it until I have a meeting there. I often don’t know where I need to go until less than 7-days out.

      And I will never drive to another airport just to get a connection.

  4. Don’t you mean “nonstop” instead of “direct”? Per Smarter Travel… “Many people think nonstop and direct flights are interchangeable terms, but there are differences between the two. A nonstop flight does as its name suggests: flies from one airport to another without stopping. A direct flight, on the other hand, makes stops along the way.”

  5. Wow! I used to fly CLT-DEN 3 or 4 times a year when I worked for a company based out there, and always flew direct on US Air for pretty reasonable rates. I haven’t made that trip in a little over a year now so maybe the fare math has changed.

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