Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Flight cost

One of my favorite blogs is the Freakanomics blog on the NY Times website. They usually have interesting takes on unusual topics. I enjoy reading how certain things are looked at from an economics viewpoint. Well I had this one experience this past week that made me curious enough to try and get their opinion on it. Below is the email I sent to one of the writers on the blog (and the co-auther of the two books) and I thought I would share it with you.

Mr. Dubner,

As an avid reader of both your books and your Freakanomics blog I was hoping to get your take on an economics problem that is perplexing me. I would like to fly from Minneapolis (MSP) to Memphis (MEM) to meet up with my brother-in-law to go see an Ole Miss baseball game in May. I looked at flight prices on and discovered the flight I wanted would cost $398. My brother-in-law suggested I look at flying into Jackson (JAN). When I changed the final destination to Jackson the flights all came in at below $300. The bizarre thing is the flights that are below $300 fly through Memphis . Why would this be? Why would it be less expensive to fly from Minneapolis to Memphis to Jackson than it would be to fly from Minneapolis to Memphis ? I checked the dates and the times and found the exact same flights, so that can’t be the answer. If you would like to see the flights I am referring to please refer to the attached grid with a summary on one tab and screenshots on the other tabs.

Thank you for taking the time to read my email and I look forward to your response.

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