October 27th, 2008

i own you peasants

Geekonomics

All right, nerds of LiveJournal, I need you to come to my aid. I have a question I have been unable to find an answer for, and I'm too busy to do the kind of in-depth research that would net me the definitive dope, so I'm hoping one of you know. I think I read an article about this in a recent issue of the Economist, but I was pilled out of my skull and I don't remember the details.

The question is this: Why do connecting flights on an airline trip cost less than direct flights?

It doesn't make any sense, either for the consumer or for the airline. Connecting flights cost a lot more -- in terms of time, manpower, resources, fuel, every measurable economic metric I can think of. It would seem to be economically unsound to charge less for connecting flights. And yet, that's the standard in air travel. Can someone explain this to me? Much obliged.