Is customer choice of cheap flight ticket booking only a hyperbole?

While some people would talk at length about how they got the cheap flight ticket booking, some others would frown upon the idea of cheap tickets at the first place. Do customers really get the tickets cheap or is it only for advertisement purposes? Let us examine this question in the light of recent developments in the travel industry and specifically in the airline or flights segment of their business.

The recent spate of mergers and acquisitions in the airlines and the agencies, the sky rocketing prices of the aviation fuel and the reluctance of airlines to offer more seats than what the plane has, has led to sharp increase in the fuel prices. The effect has been in terms of passengers opting out of air travel for short distances which can be covered by the cars. The advantages of the air travel get negated when the prices become too high to bear. This makes one wonder why on earth are the airlines talking about the cheap flight ticket booking if there are none and what is the time when the prices will be reduced?

To say that the customer is the king is actually misleading since it is the airline which holds the control over the prices. When the airlines or agencies go out to buy other companies or merge with them, the competition in the market is reduced. This reduction makes the airlines bold enough to charge the prices which they want and maximise their profits. In democratic countries where the perfect competition conditions are preferred and the monopolistic tendencies are not allowed to prevail, the airlines defend their price hike decisions citing high demand and less supply.

When the conditions for price hike have ceased to exist, it is seen that the airlines do not reduce the prices of flight booking. This makes it amply clear that the airlines offer of cheap flight ticket booking is actually misleading.

When the prices become so high that the people stop using the services of airlines, then there is an adverse impact on the general economic growth of the country and this is something about which the regulators and the governments do care for. They keep a check on the prices which the airlines are charging and might also initiate investigations into whether such price hike was the result of cartelization or not. If it is found that unfair trade practices were resorted by the airlines, suitable punishment may be handed out.

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