Too Soon to Speculate on Possible Airfare War in Greater Los Angeles

Could an airfare war – or at least a skirmish – be brewing in greater Los Angeles? The possibility is intriguing but at this point, it’s only a possibility.

Southwest Heading to Long Beach Airport

Southwest Airlines just announced its intention to fly out of Long Beach, Calif. (LGB), a growing facility located between two other popular airports, Los Angeles International (LAX) and Disneyland-close John Wayne in Orange County (SNA). If all goes according to plan, Southwest will begin flights sometime later this year and things could get interesting because Long Beach is already a focus city for another low cost carrier, JetBlue.

Airfare War – Or Skirmish?

“It’s way too early to tell if this will turn into any kind of airfare battleground,” said airfare expert and FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney who added that any clash at all is more likely to be a skirmish, not a war.  Even a skirmish is only a possibility said Seaney noting media reports about Southwest’s hoped-for nine flights a day do not reveal any potential destinations so it’s unknown if any Southwest routes would overlap JetBlue’s.

Nor will Southwest talk about pricing but there are many documented cases of the ‘Southwest effect’ which often occurs when the popular carrier moves into a new city and begins aggressive pricing to the benefit of passengers. Will it happen in Long Beach?  Still up in the air, but if anything interesting happens, we will report back.

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Published: February 11, 2016