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Airfare Report: The Person Next to Me is Paying What?!?

Laura Begley Bloom
Executive Editor
August 12, 2014
airfares the real story
airfares the real story

The differences in airfares on a single flight might surprise you (Photo: Thinkstock)

Life isn’t fair, and a new airfare report from Hopper.com — a travel site that analyzes flight data to help travelers find deals and save money — proves just that.

The site looked at the top 10 domestic and international destinations with the most and least variation in pricing and found that what you and your seatmate are paying can vary by staggering amounts. For instance, a United flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas saw figures for a one-way coach ticket ranging from $200 up to $1,600.

Related: Airlines Are Making More Money — and You’re About to Be a Whole Lot Happier

There’s nothing worse than being on a flight and knowing your seatmate paid a fraction of what you paid.

Yahoo Travel’s editor in chief Paula Froelich appeared on Good Morning America to talk about the report, which you can watch here. “The findings from the study are pretty shocking,” Froelich said. “At the end of the day, it’s a seat, it’s the same thing.”

Related: 20 Nastiest Things People Have Tweeted to Airlines This Month

“The destinations with the highest price variability are the ones where it’s most important to compare ticket prices because there is a wide range of ticket prices available,” says Patrick Surry, Hopper’s chief data scientist.

Hopper also found that the range in prices varies according to the airline — prices varied by 5 percent on Spirit, 15 percent on Virgin America, and 18 percent on United.

Related: US Airfares on the Rise, Outpacing Inflation

How to avoid overpaying? Book early — 30 days in advance is the magic number, and check out these three tools from Hopper.com:

• When to Fly and Buy: outlines prices for specific routes.

• Hopper Flight Explorer: monitors and analyzes flight searches and ranks deals.

• Origin-Destination Technical Reports: shows how prices vary on specific route.

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