Hurricane Irma is already causing enormous damage in the Caribbean, and everyone is attempting to get out as quickly and safely as possible. For many, that means getting a flight and staying with relatives until the danger has passed. But that’s becoming harder and harder as the storm draws closer, and it appears the sudden surge in demand is knocking airline prices out of whack.
News networks and Twitter feeds are rapidly filling up with reports of spiking ticket prices as everyone tries to evacuate from the path of Irma. Yahoo! Finance, for example, relates one man, John Lyons, flying from Bradley in Hartford, CT one-way to Miami for $160. But when he tried to book a flight out:
On Monday evening, John Lyons, a 53-year-old father from West Hartford, Connecticut, purchased a one-way American Airlines ticket from Miami to Hartford for $159.20 for his daughter to get out of Hurricane Irma’s path as the storm churns through the Caribbean. On Tuesday, he was shocked at the spike in airfare prices. “I logged in and expected to see $160, and frankly if I had seen $260 I wouldn’t have reacted. And I logged in and saw, $1,020, and I about had a heart attack.”
Lyons isn’t alone, and it appears that American Airlines is frustrating travelers in particular:
American, however, might simply be overwhelmed, if their Twitter feed is any indication. Here’s a quick sample.
The problem, however, isn’t limited to American. Following John Lyons’ example, we looked at flights from Miami to Hartford, and Miami to LaGuardia, and found that things are rough out there:
This may be, to some degree, automatic. How people fly, and what price they pay for a seat, is a complicated process and sudden increases in demand can knock those algorithms completely out of whack. But that doesn’t excuse what looks, to many, like an airline executive well away from the line of fire viewing this as a “profit maximizing opportunity.”
(via Yahoo! Finance)