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Airline pricing, considerations other than cost in pricing. Air Eagle is about to introduce a daily round-trip flight from New York to Los Angeles and is determining how it should price its round-trip tickets.
The market research group at Air Eagle segments the market into business and pleasure travelers. It provides the following information on the effects of two different prices on the number of seats expected to be sold and the variable cost per ticket, including the commission paid to travel agents:
Number of Seats Expected to Be Sold
Price Charged Variable Cost per Ticket Business Pleasure
$ 500 $ 65 200 100
2,100 175 180 20
Pleasure travelers start their travel during one week, spend at least one weekend at their destination, and return the following week or thereafter. Business travelers usually start and complete their travel within the same work week. They do not stay over weekends.
Assume that round-trip fuel costs are fixed costs of $24,000 and that fixed costs allocated to the round-trip flight for airplane-lease costs, ground services, and flight-crew salaries total $188,000.
1. If you could charge different prices to business travelers and pleasure travelers, would you? Show your computations.
2. Explain the key factor (or factors) for your answer in requirement 1.
3. How might Air Eagle implement price discrimination? That is, what plan could the airline formulate so that business travelers and pleasure travelers each pay the price desired by the airline?