A Delta Airlines fare sale has halved ticket costs for return flights between Charlotte and Los Angeles, cutting prices from $471 to $242.
Delta initiated the sale at 2pm on July 22, but prices did not reach their lowest point until the morning of July 23, when they fell as low as $240. This is almost 50% cheaper than average fares as reported on Hopper’s Charlotte-Los Angeles when to buy and fly report.
The fare sale primarily applies to tickets with departure dates in September or October, though there are a few tickets on sale as far out as January 2015.
The sale is a sign that Delta is trying to expand its market share on the popular route, which is currently serviced by four major airlines. Recently merged US Airways-American dominates the market in terms of direct flights, operating over 80% of the flights, while United Airlines runs more than half of flights with stops, according to Hopper’s technical report on the route.
Delta is the second most popular carrier operating Charlotte-Los Angeles flights with stops. Their flights include a connection in Delta’s hub airport of Atlanta, and total travel time varies between 6.5 and 7.5 hours. US Airways-American’s direct flights take only five hours, but cost at least $500, more than twice the price of the Delta sale fare.
"This is a really incredible sale, as we don't often see 50% discounts on flights" said Patrick Surry, Chief Data Scientist at Hopper. "Any travelers looking to fly from Charlotte to Los Angeles should book right away, as there won’t be any fares as low as this for at least a few months."
Airlines participating in fare sale: Delta
Start of fare sale: July 22
Fare sale length: TBD, but we don't expect the sale to last longer than a few days
Conditions: The vast majority of tickets on sale depart in September or October, though a few are available as late as January 2015
Airfare savings: 50% lower than the average price reported in Hopper's flight report on the Charlotte to Los Angeles route
-$242 round-trip between Charlotte and Los Angeles on Delta, Sep 18 to Oct 1
-$242 round-trip between Charlotte and Los Angeles on Delta, Oct 7 to Oct 20
-$242 round-trip between Charlotte and Los Angeles on Delta, Jan 7 to Jan 14
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The research team at Hopper uses data drawn from a combined feed of Global Distribution System (GDS) data that includes 10 million flight price queries per day, containing about one billion individual trips per day, to provide insights on airline pricing to consumers.