Movies vs. Airlines

What if movie theaters priced their tickets the same way the airlines do it?  The product is virtually identical – a perishable product that happens once and only once at a set and predetermined time.  Yet if the theater had all of the various ticket codes and rules as the airlines you would not go to the movies.

For example, Imagine you go to the movies this weekend to see the 8:00pm show.  The ticket is $10.  Now imagine that you buy the ticket 20 minutes before the show and you’re told that the ticket to see the movie costs $250.  You ask why and you’re told “because it’s 20 minutes before the show”…  then you’re told “if you had purchased your ticket with 14 day or 21 day advanced notice you could have had that same ticket for $10 but last minute it is $250.

What is the difference between the product a movie theater sells and the product an airline sells?  8pm is 8pm and when the movie starts or the plane takes off, it can NEVER happen again at that day and time.  Yet somehow the airlines have 20 or 30 different classes of tickets for exactly the same seats on the same exact plane.  Imagine your movie tickets were sold according to Y fare or M fare, or Q fare, advance purchase, this rule, that rule etc…

Why can’t airlines simply sell their seats without all of the price matrix gymnastics?

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