The Surprising Reason Paris Fares Haven’t Fallen and a Great Behind the Scenes Look at JFK

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Hmm…… isn’t what DL is doing to AF price fixing? I mean not allowing another airline (which you have some control over) and flying the same routes as you to lower its price — that’s really anti-capitalistic and price fixing, isn’t it? Shouldn’t the DOJ be looking into this non free market, non competitive thing that is going on?

  2. Brancatelli’s statement is why JVAs need to end. Airlines tried to justify approval for them when there were a lot more large carriers. Now it makes no sense and monopolistic.

  3. I flew Air France JFK-CDG (and then onto RUH) on Dec 12, and that first segment was packed, not an empty seat in coach, or premium economy (but a few empties in Business). For my coach ticket I was upgraded to Premium Economy (I’m DM with DL). I’m on my way back tonight, and I’ll report how the CDG-JFK segment is filled. From that one data point, I would not expect AF to drop fares. Maybe very few think there’s a crisis? Maybe the terrorists are total pathetic losers?

  4. Why link to an article that requires a pay subscription?

    Oh, by the way, Delta & Dick Anderson are pure evil. It’s great to be a US corporation circa 2015 where you can do literally anything you’d like to your “customers,” brazenly price-fix and collude with your “competition” and the ironically named Dept of Justice will not not say a word.

  5. When looking back over the past 15 years, the approval of these evil joint ventures have helped accelerate the race to the bottom from a consumer point of view.

  6. Sounds like Delta is forcing price-fixing on Air France. Wasn’t the Justice Dept investigating this last summer, after which the fares mysteriously plunged and have largely stayed lower? Now this report about Air France needing to discount but being prohibited by partner Delta to keep prices fixed high. Keep hitting them and put someone like Delta’s chairman in prison as an example! Either we have corporate rule or the people rule. Problem is a third of our population are too stupid to know their own economic interest, being duped by a party of the rich, or are authoritarian lapdogs trying to tamp down dissent from their business class perches.

  7. @Brian, @Nun, thanks. Do you know what year the DOJ gave DL and AF this immunity? I mean if it was back when there were 8 Legacy carriers, it’s a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ballgame now. @Gary, how do we get the DOJ to take another look at this in today’s world? Do I simply write a letter to the Attorney General as a consumer saying, hey, this ain’t right, please look into this? (Between DL, AF, and KLM, this price fixing cabal controls 90% of the market to Europe out of Atlanta — my city — and are milking the public. It isn’t right. How do we get them to fix this????)

  8. Let’s face it, prices will only fall with a serious lack of demand. that is only likely once there is a coordinated attack on commercial air travel ie: one or more TATL flights blown up for example. Most people are not going to cancel their plans unless they are personally affected by world events – you yourself wrote very defiantly about that after the Paris massacres – and that doesn’t seem to be the case for the average American. No one in North America pays much attention when Russian charter airliners are being blown up in Egypt or even when missiles hit MH17. Most people consider these isolated, rare events – and they are. Most of us make a cost/benefit calculation and take our chances. That is life. The airlines know that. And BTW anyone who thinks the DOJ will ever interfere in a serious way with commercial air travel JVs, is truly naive.

  9. The Air France-Delta joint venture took place in 2009. Like the United-Lufthansa and American-BA deals, joint ventures are allowed to coordinate pricing. So while it’s classic price fixing, it isn’t illegal because both the US and EU signed off on the price fixing arrangement.

    As for why Gary links to things behind paywalls like Joe Branatelli’s JoeSentMe perhaps he is trying to tell you that you should be subscribing, too. I pay $99 for my annual sub and it’s worth ten times more. Not only news and analysis and links to other writers, but there are fabulous travel discounts offered only to members. And no ads or promotions or subsidized links to credit cards.

  10. OK, so both the US DOJ and the EU signed off on the DL AF (KLM) joint venture for price fixing in 2009. That was a DIFFERENT ERA. There were at least 6 big carriers (maybe more) then, and we were in the middle of the Great Recession – with most airlines on the ropes. Things are very different now. DL is strong and the economy is back. Price fixing is anti-consumer, against American values, and is not needed now. So how do we get the DOJ to take another look at this in light of the new circumstances? And because it ain’t right. If the DOJ won’t take another look, then I hope the Middle Eastern Airlines get permission to fly into all of DL’s hubs in order to give DL some real competition. (I have been an Obama supporter for 7 years, but I think his Administration blew it allowing all the airline mergers. IT WAS NOT GOOD FOR THE CONSUMER.)

  11. Just got back from Paris on AF0022, and in coach the flight was full, as in no empty seats. Maybe just the holiday season, but … just seems like the terrorists have had zero impact from my 2 data points. Business and tourism continues..

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