Last week, Delta announced that it would lower its fares at its Cincinnati hub. I’m sure this is a last ditch effort to save the hub from being dismantled, but somehow I doubt it will work. Still, it does mean that there are finally some more affordable fares out there for travelers. But how much more affordable will they be, exactly?
I took one route, Cincinnati to Los Angeles and picked it apart with the help of Rick Seaney over at FareCompare.com, a consumer airline ticket comparison website, to show exactly what kind of discounts we’re talking about here. The verdict? It’s substantial. Let me give you an idea of what I mean. Below, I’ve put together a table with various scenarios of how far in advance someone is booking and how long they would be staying. You can see the new fare structure is significantly cheaper. (These are the published fares and don’t include all taxes, but those would apply equally before and after the change, so the savings are still accurate.)
As you can see, the cuts have come across the board. This ignores all sales fares, so it’s entirely possible that you could get some cheaper fares for advance purchase travel, but this is still a very significant reduction. As I said, it appears to be a last effort to save Cincinnati from its demise as a hub. It’s been said that both Detroit and Cincinnati are showing greater weakness than others for Delta during this economic downturn, and I’m sure that Detroit is in a better position to remain a hub than Cincinnati. Delta must be hoping that this will help the airport become more competitive with surrounding low fare airports like Dayton and Louisville.
For those who want to geek out more, here’s the full comparison by fare basis for Delta’s new and old structures between Cincinnati and LA.