08 August 2010

Thank You JetBlue, I'm Flying Delta Because of You

I love the free market. I love competition. And I am so glad that I never got to grow up in a communist regime, where everything is state-controlled, and there's only one brand of soap, and one brand of airline.

Anyway, I bought tickets to go back to New York City sometime in September. I could either go by bus (which is cheapest, but creepy and long), train (which is not so cheap, but not creepy, but still long), or plane (which can be cheap, and not creepy and fast). Depending on the variables that are in play, I select any of those three.

So I need to go back to New York City to pick up my new passport. And at the same time, it's in the semester, so I am teaching, and so I cannot be away for long. Given these variables, I was wondering what the best way to go was.

While I was in New York City, I already was searching for flights in order to see how much they would be like. I saw fares that were rather low, only about 20 USD more compared to the train fares, and given that it's fast as well, I think it was a good price. But I didn't book it then because I was still not sure of other variables.

Then later on, I saw that the fares went up, and increased by 80 USD more. Now it seems that given the current constraints, the train would be the best solution. Travel on Thursday the whole day, do business on Friday, and travel back on Saturday for the whole day.

Anyway, a week later, I saw an email. JetBlue Airways is having a fare sale. And they happen to fly the Buffalo-New York City route. I could get round-trip tickets for 139.00 USD, which is just 20 USD more than the train fare. It was in fact the original price that I saw the first time. Wow. I was excited, because I knew what this meant.

I looked up Delta Air Lines, and lo and behold, they have the same price of 139.00 USD for the same route. It happens that they also fly the route, and given the choice between JetBlue and Delta, I would fly Delta. Yes, I know. JetBlue's service is stellar, but their frequent-flier system only works within their system. Delta's frequent flier club on the other hand is worldwide, and they have partners with other airlines that I can use as well. In fact, when I rode China Airlines to go to Manila this past May, I earned Delta miles on that trip.

So yeah, JetBlue had a fare sale, and Delta matched their prices. I am happy. In this way, I get to fly cheaply, and earn miles too.

This is why I love the free market.

(View of the City, from my Qorikancha Series)


  1. Competition can be really cool, as it brings prices down. Now, I believe in competition so I dislike places like Wal-Mart, born out of capitalism, which are unfair competition to businesses around... but that's another story.

  2. Zhu,

    Now I am intrigued. What do you mean by unfair competition? If the likes of Walmart have the ability to drive prices down, then sure why not? Now, if they do so by means of slave labor outside the USA, then I don't agree to that. Also, if they receive state subsidies, then I also don't think that is being fair. It's a sink or swim world after all. Now obviously, I don't know much about this topic...