How COVID-19 Broke the Airline Pricing Model

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Animation by Josh Sherrington
Sound by Graham Haerther
Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster
Select footage courtesy the AP Archive
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  1. Nick Stone
    Nick Stone
    Dag geleden

    So they cant Guinea Pig me on price as readily as they used to? Where's my smallest violin? Ah hell, they're not worth it.

  2. Dad Bod vs The World
    Dad Bod vs The World
    6 dagen geleden

    As a pilot for a regional Airline, as much as I disparage Airline management, I have to thank American Airlines for two major reasons. They increased my flying to Florida destinations that I enjoy, and I have not been to New York in almost a year.

  3. Tom Clark
    Tom Clark
    17 dagen geleden

    9:26 Bournemouth Airport

  4. Karsten Cen
    Karsten Cen
    20 dagen geleden

    December 15 2020, when my flight got cancelled

  5. metalfoot
    20 dagen geleden

    10:05 "Phuket" 🤔

  6. KielEire
    22 dagen geleden

    Don’t worry about the airlines, they will get bailed out and the executives will get large bonuses

  7. Carls Carl
    Carls Carl
    25 dagen geleden

    I appreciate airplanes. I mean fuck walking

  8. GoinManta
    28 dagen geleden

    I have a trip to Berlin, that could have been Frankfurt.. But Frankfurt was $1800, Berlin $850.. I AM TAKING THE SAME FLIGHT From THE US.. TO Frankfurt.

  9. Rasmussen Invincible
    Rasmussen Invincible
    Maand geleden

    Eventually affordable prices

  10. Musical1inNM
    Maand geleden

    But they got gubmint bailouts& small biz and restaurants got loans . airlines have paid lobbyists for handouts.. Small biz and restaurant owners have no lobbyists for them in DC . its a big klub and we aint in it

    1. 徐鹏飞
      28 dagen geleden


  11. Bram Meijer
    Bram Meijer
    Maand geleden

    Does this guy sound similar to HAI or is it just me?

    1. Sheev Palpatine
      Sheev Palpatine
      5 dagen geleden

      I think the dude from HAI is locked up in Wendower's basement.

  12. Scott Nope
    Scott Nope
    Maand geleden

    Sooo airlines are responsible for people dying in Florida?

    1. Krajcik Pritchard
      Krajcik Pritchard
      Maand geleden


  13. Brad Sadler
    Brad Sadler
    Maand geleden

    I would like to add to the Denver and Eagle County argument that Denver is also a United hub. I would assume they would fly there cheaper because these hubs are where they dish out their planes to various locations and would also have more United gates. Another hub of United is San Francisco about 50% farther than Denver but the price is about 35% more expensive. SFO may be just another "big airport" These hubs have their hangers there where as Salt Lake City another "big airport" less than double the distance, but is about 90% more expensive. as of jan 21, 2021. SLC is a Delta hub to anyone wondering. (i am a standby flyer of United) so you pick and choose your flights very carefully. $148 Denver, $191 San Fran, $269 SLC. End of pointless semantics.

  14. UKinQ8 Gaming
    UKinQ8 Gaming
    Maand geleden

    I love how half interesting these videos are ❤

  15. Jesse Berg
    Jesse Berg
    Maand geleden

    So, they turned off the computers and us d The Force?

  16. Acel Shock
    Acel Shock
    Maand geleden

    This video was made possible by COVID-19

  17. Cihan Kivanc
    Cihan Kivanc
    2 maanden geleden

    5:17 YTZ Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport featured in a Wendover video Woohoo!!! :)

  18. Andrew Truett
    Andrew Truett
    2 maanden geleden

    Newark is NJ

  19. Thomas Brown
    Thomas Brown
    2 maanden geleden

    i flew allegiant back in may memphis to tampa. Round trip $70.

  20. Taiga Honest
    Taiga Honest
    2 maanden geleden

    Gonna fly internationally again soon after last taking a flight February of 2020 and I'm so curious of how empty the flight will be ngl

  21. Richard Conte
    Richard Conte
    2 maanden geleden

    then why is it so expensive to fly non stop between New York City to Miniapolis St Paul, MN

  22. Aazam Chattha
    Aazam Chattha
    2 maanden geleden

    lol ryan air

  23. Justin Masayda
    Justin Masayda
    2 maanden geleden

    One thing that irks me a bit is each time you say airlines "regulate demand." What you mean is that they regulate quantity demanded. These are not the same thing. Demand is basically a quantification of how much value people place on a given thing, on average, in a given amount of time. Quantity demanded is how much of that thing is actually traded at some price in some amount of time. Airlines can't directly decide to change whether people want to fly or not. They CAN directly change how many people who are ALREADY willing and able to fly actually do so by regulating prices.

  24. Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens
    2 maanden geleden

    i moved from north carolina to tulsa ok last december, and i fly back to north carolina every eight weeks and i was getting american airlines first class every trip for under $400 with a hotel and rental car with first i know why. and i was wondering how is this possible

    1. Brad Sadler
      Brad Sadler
      Maand geleden

      I've made a recent comment about my theory, but Charlotte Douglas is an American Airlines hub, and Tulsa is Maintenance hub for American Airlines

  25. Ted Chou
    Ted Chou
    2 maanden geleden

    I always liked how Sam can link the topic to his sponsors in the end.

  26. James C.
    James C.
    2 maanden geleden


    1. Shivam Gupta
      Shivam Gupta
      2 maanden geleden


  27. steveghanbari
    2 maanden geleden

    No governments or organisation should force people to take the vaccine that not been researched on adequately. Suppose government or organisation forces employees to undertake risky exercise. In that case, they must also provide a written guarantee if any adverse effects arise regarding that the individual health that the government or that organisation is liable financially to the tune of billions of dollars for every life may be affected. Anything short of that it is useless people should stand up. Otherwise, they can get lost.

  28. Darth Makroth
    Darth Makroth
    2 maanden geleden

    At this point you should become an airline accountant

  29. CatSauceForThePeople
    2 maanden geleden

    I commuted with Ryanair, most of the time It was maybe 10% full, one time I was the only passanger. So idk about that thing about them being usually full.

  30. John Rupesh
    John Rupesh
    2 maanden geleden

    I have been working as a travel agent for the last 10 years. Its not that flying to eagle county is expensive, rather its flying to Denver is cheaper for united because denver is one of its hubs from which it can connect flights to go further ahead to different airports but eagle county is a small airport so Airline pays slightly higher airport tax and rent for that airport also flying to small airport means such as eagle county, that the flight can't go further ahead so Airline is losing the profit which it could have made from connecting a different city. Airline pricing is not as simple as you think. Its very complex even I can't comprehend it 100% even after working in it for 10 years.

  31. Domagoj Pribanic
    Domagoj Pribanic
    2 maanden geleden

    The airlines can adjust to the drop in demand by using the methods you describe, but offloading assets? By assets, the most important of those I assume you mean planes? To whom are they supposed to offload those if the same thing is happening to the whole industry at once?

  32. Tirex367
    2 maanden geleden

    In other words, the airlines figuratively had to turn off a malfunctioning auto pilot and fly manually, to not crash.

  33. nuthnmuchu
    2 maanden geleden

    And now many flights are 3x the price that they used to be around this time of year. $7000 to fly economy to China is ridiculous

  34. Juan Hernandez
    Juan Hernandez
    2 maanden geleden

    The vacuous printer phylogenitically possess because ferryboat definitely bruise underneath a tasteful statement. hot huge, detailed discussion

  35. Kris Yeti
    Kris Yeti
    2 maanden geleden

    "That's because the humans were able to realize something that the computers could not." Pretty freaky if you think about it on a more general scale.

  36. TheMarioMen1
    2 maanden geleden

    6:54 Honestly wtf kinda example lmaoo 😂 who is wanting to fly from the Jerzz to Eagle hick county Colorado 😂

  37. Fakhri Jauhar
    Fakhri Jauhar
    2 maanden geleden

    0:37 is this Ngurah Rai Bali Airport?

  38. darknessblade
    2 maanden geleden

    So before they shut down the software someone could buy in theory all flights for the next 5 years, and sell them at a inflated price later on

  39. Axcellent Walukow
    Axcellent Walukow
    2 maanden geleden

    I see. This explains why my December ticket became much cheaper than last year's. Yes, it's pandemic, but from an IT perspective, it is impossible that the automated system can do that.

  40. h h
    h h
    2 maanden geleden

    forgot to mention the way Airlines treat their Greatest Assets, Costumers They've treated us like cattle in cattle cars and some took this opportunity to move on.

  41. Aidan Brady
    Aidan Brady
    2 maanden geleden

    The dude is annoying

  42. J Jones
    J Jones
    2 maanden geleden

    Why is government suppressing information on effectively preventing , treating and stopping the spread of COVID?

  43. navdas one
    navdas one
    2 maanden geleden

    What about the BLOODSUCKING culture that airlines have adopted, in order to " extract the maximum revenue' from passengers? What is the need for the expensive to run algorithm computers? The reality is that passengers have been reduced to 'SITTING TARGET' status in order to STEAL cash from their pocket.

  44. Alexander Ulanov
    Alexander Ulanov
    2 maanden geleden

    2:02 haha what the hell is she doing

  45. spinalcrackerbox
    3 maanden geleden

    There is also a long-term effect in the international segment as millions of passengers got punished for booking months in advance. I alone had 3 bookings go up in smoke between March & early July (I did stop making bookings in February, even when a certain low coast carrier tempted with a price of just $30 for a flight from my home airport to KUL. I was certain those future flights wouldn't happen & they never did). It will certainly be many years if ever that I will be so optimistic and book months before. A sub-development is consumers being turned off by the bad customer service provided by online booking sites, such as MyTrip/GoToGate, etc. I predict more people will book directly with the airline from now on.

  46. Steven Adams
    Steven Adams
    3 maanden geleden

    The strange windscreen technically call because shallot prospectively lick aside a fanatical example. ambiguous, steadfast curler

  47. Rob
    3 maanden geleden

    @ 9:25 , Is that Norwich Airport?

  48. hummelman
    3 maanden geleden

    I work in hotels and i can tell you that we have a lot of revenue managers looking for jobs right now!

  49. Brandon King
    Brandon King
    3 maanden geleden

    Wendover 2018: How Airlines price flights Wendover 2020: How Covid broke pricing flights

  50. qwertymonsta
    3 maanden geleden

    Fuck airlines that keep their prices high and don't offer any real safety measures for COVID (read: American Airlines). My wife and I got COVID on a flight to head home after a non-optional trip.

  51. Jason Crobar
    Jason Crobar
    3 maanden geleden

    My home airport YYZ at 4:15! Sadly, it's been a while since I've seen that view in person (Terminal 1, Pier F, looking across to Pier D). Next year... Maybe...

    1. Jason Crobar
      Jason Crobar
      3 maanden geleden

      My other home airport YTZ at 5:18! Nice!

  52. NextNate03
    3 maanden geleden

    You forgot the part where some or many of the airlines overbooked the flights.

  53. axlin
    3 maanden geleden

    Is that plane at 12:44 wearing a MASK!?

  54. mining craft
    mining craft
    3 maanden geleden

    2:02 that woman using her mind to type

  55. Ryan T.A
    Ryan T.A
    3 maanden geleden


  56. Tom
    3 maanden geleden

    I've actually been flying more than usual this year. Being from mainland europe and going to uni in the UK, I usually would travel by bus via France. However, with all the lockdown and quarantine rules going on, I had to fly two times this year in order to not pass through any countries with high enough cases that I would force me to isolate on arrival. There was also a lot of uncertainty going on with borders closing in March so that the goal was basically to get to my home country as quickly as possible and I had to fly.

  57. David Beppler
    David Beppler
    3 maanden geleden

    TSA agents are so bored they are frisking each other. TSA the only job where zero tolerance does not exists. No such thing as sexual harassment as a TSA agent. The only thing more invasive than a TSA agent is a teenage obgyn!

  58. One Time
    One Time
    3 maanden geleden

    So this video is how its sad that airlines cant rob us of money huh

  59. herogoose
    3 maanden geleden

    not to sound like a jerk but I thought it was dumb when he said NORMALLY business focus on matching supply to demand but airplanes do does that even mean? all business follow supply and demand, not a single fucking business doesn't follow it. how does an airplane increase demand? u force people into your airplane? and don't say discounts, you don't buy new airplanes or increase the number of flights when you make a discount, if its full, its full and they book the next day. airplanes like any product follow the same rules (Ex. milk) , if people drink more milk, then supply will increase.

  60. Filip Poutintsev
    Filip Poutintsev
    3 maanden geleden

    Airlines are so rude to people that it's only karma that they lose money now.

  61. Popper Shnoz
    Popper Shnoz
    3 maanden geleden

    Guys... Just put your masks on... And enjoy a nice flight...

  62. limpqizbuit
    3 maanden geleden

    The ironic thing is, the person spraying down the airplane like that without a sealed chemical mask is going to die of lung cancer or pneumonia, because masks (the ones everyone wear on the daily) don't work the way people are brainwashed to think they work.

  63. Karol Stopinski
    Karol Stopinski
    3 maanden geleden

    Cry me a river. At least in 2020 i was able to fly like a human being and not a sardine. Hope it stays this way.

  64. Chinese Memer
    Chinese Memer
    3 maanden geleden

    Better question, why not trains

  65. Jeremi Miller
    Jeremi Miller
    3 maanden geleden

    All this over a cold!

  66. FullSizedGaming
    3 maanden geleden

    I see a lot of comments that companies can't influence "demand" in the market place. So as an economist answer this. Business 1 - supplies 100% of demand at a given time. Demand is now Zero, everyone who wanted whatever it was has it Business 2 - supplies 10% of the demand at a given time. Demand is still at 90% of what it was as everyone who wanted it doesn't have it. An example could be airplanes vs diamond jewelry. Inevitably there will be some who "demand" an airplane ticket but the cost is too high so they use alternative transportation. But arn't all the people who are buying tickets and flying reducing the demand? Meanwhile a diamond jeweler supports their ridiculous prices for "rocks" by keeping demand high, this is done two fold by advertising - making people want it, and pricing - making it cost more than most people will spend. Now imagine a 3rd company, maybe something like Neuralink. Millions of people want a Neuralink but it isn't a finished product. So while the company advertises what they think they can get the product to do, as well as talk about what they plan to be able to price the device at they are creating more and more demand while not actually able to supply any of the demand. In all 3 cases the companies are able to influence demand by Advertising, pricing, and making their product more or less available.

  67. FullSizedGaming
    3 maanden geleden

    who cares about airplanes when you see what those sailboats did at 5:17. Look bottom center, those are sail boats. Look how pro thats first boat linked up with his friend. I mean thats some precision boat driving for a sail boat.

  68. Kevin
    3 maanden geleden

    Computer: *Does exactly what it's designed to do* Wendover: "...which confused the computer even more"

  69. Tzizenorec
    3 maanden geleden

    Why are you showing us graphs of "percent deviation"? That's useless, because it doesn't tell us whether the deviation was an increase or a decrease!

  70. Хрупа Хрупов
    Хрупа Хрупов
    3 maanden geleden

    So much better without the HI's cringey jokes crammed into every possible second of a video. God, those are so bad I actually unsubscribed from Half as Interesting.

  71. xChaleur
    3 maanden geleden

    Airlines will make more money if they let drug dealers go unchecked. Just saying! Dont go complaining about empty seats when you are kicking people out. Lol

  72. D1V15OR
    3 maanden geleden

    Ah yes its called covid 19 because it came along in 2018

  73. luis tena
    luis tena
    3 maanden geleden

    Airlines bout to drop that Covid software update on their servers lol

  74. Rosemarie Landers
    Rosemarie Landers
    3 maanden geleden


  75. Ripcord
    3 maanden geleden

    I could only watch, about one minute of, your video. Your midsentence pauses were, excessive and, unnecessary. Much like I did in this, comment.

  76. Ardakapalasan
    3 maanden geleden

    I like these videos but the narrator seems to make pauses in all the wrong places...

  77. RezaQin
    3 maanden geleden

    How the lockdowns broke it, not Covid itself.

  78. danpos
    3 maanden geleden

    Covid-19 did NOT break anything. The power hungry politicians broke the world economy with their new laws and rules. It is easy to make new crippling laws and rules when they don't affect you! Did they get wage cuts? Did 50% of all politicians loose their jobs?

  79. Smash
    3 maanden geleden

    Voiceover guy says "boLth" and I can't get over it.

  80. Jared Emberton
    Jared Emberton
    3 maanden geleden

    Anyone else notice the computer doing it’s own thing at 2:00?

  81. Rotogas
    3 maanden geleden

    Wait. I'm eight minutes in and I am just realising that this isn't an HAI video...

  82. MrSupergibs
    3 maanden geleden

    Don't worry, expect airfares will skyrocket in the years to come! Get ready for take off!

  83. Zac van Castle
    Zac van Castle
    3 maanden geleden

    Seems to me when you explain why Denver tickets are cheaper that the are just adjusting to demand, and not creating it. If anything, they offer alternatives to over demanded destinations, so if you can’t flight to New York, you still fly and they don’t lose your money. But obviously, the new destination has to be something apoealing and for a good price. Not to mention that planes are not busses, so you can’t just put one more plane on a route and go, otherwise rest assure instead of other options, airlines will just increase the number of seats with more aircrafts for most desired routes

  84. spik330
    3 maanden geleden

    Airlines are basically price fixing. This equation is backwards, the seats in a plan are the the supply. They adjust the supply to ship the most people at the same time as charging the most they can.

  85. Dieselpilot
    3 maanden geleden

    This was a very informative look behind the curtain of how the airline industry makes its money. Thanks. I especially like the brief discussion about the airlines shifting their capacity to serve Florida, and I wonder if that indirectly resulted in the COVID spike in Florida. That would be an interesting discussion for ethicists in the future. I'm curious, are you able to describe any effects on the pricing model that the GSA has for its contracted fares with certain airlines for certain city-pairs? I know that's a bit of a niche topic, but government air travel is a significant enough customer base that there is a chance that it's been investigated. If it's not been checked out, it might make an interesting thesis paper for an Economics Masters Degree student! :-D

  86. Godspeedhero
    3 maanden geleden

    Guess they'll have to do it old school.

  87. NewWorldSinner
    3 maanden geleden

    Great vid

  88. EИDERS
    3 maanden geleden

    I bet the statistics used in this video, given by large corporation and combines, are all bullshit.

  89. Aman Mahajan
    Aman Mahajan
    3 maanden geleden

    In Ryanair, the pilot sits in the passenger seat.

  90. Starcraf SF
    Starcraf SF
    3 maanden geleden

    The shutdown of travel was not natural it was artificial and forced.

  91. Casey Doe
    Casey Doe
    3 maanden geleden

    I just flew in October and the flight was completely full and when I landed in PHX there was a sea of people there. The next flight was full as well. There's a TON of people flying.

  92. Herr Vorragend
    Herr Vorragend
    3 maanden geleden

    6:48 .. wtf .. i see the map and instantly see that red sandy area way north of mexico. I instantly think like "oh that looks like a bird, like an eagle or phoenix, looking for prey!" seconds later it writes "eagle country" ... thats sick.

  93. FoolWise
    3 maanden geleden

    Tip: If you show many plots of a fiew different types data, present them in different colors. E.g. covid cases in green, passenger numbers in red etc. This makes it obvious to me as a viewer that I need to read a new axis.

  94. Klaas Vaak
    Klaas Vaak
    3 maanden geleden

    haha, rocket science aint that hard, it isn't predicting sociological patterns

  95. Mateusz Dereniowski
    Mateusz Dereniowski
    3 maanden geleden

    I like how Google Maps allows one to find out the exact locations just from a single photo. Like the "wingy" bridge 0:18 from the beginning of the video. The fact that it's a border bridge in a middle of a city and "Polizei" is german for police made me wonder if it could be a Polish-German border and the cities of Zgorzelec-Görlitz (that I live relatively close to). Unfortunately non of the bridges matched. Then I've realized that the black dude on a bikecycle is probably more plausible in France (considering Gremany's neighbours) and voila it's Beatus Rhenanus Bridge between Kehl and Strasbourg ->

  96. dark matter
    dark matter
    3 maanden geleden

    Why do Americans get such cheap flights

  97. dark matter
    dark matter
    3 maanden geleden

    "flights are cheap. -uk to Amsterdam £70 not including hotel or return flight- OUCH!

  98. mazzith
    3 maanden geleden

    I took advantage of the price drop in May, I got two first class tickets from Seattle to Houston this year for $435 each. Then in June got 2 first class to chicago from Seattle next year for $480 each.

  99. Gallen Dugall
    Gallen Dugall
    3 maanden geleden

    Get a downvote for "Late 2019" revisionist history at the intro. I remember being called a racist conspiracy theorist by mainstream media and government officials refusing to close boarders from November 2019, when warning videos showing piles of Chinese bodies were circulating, through to fricking April 2020. What travel restrictions had been imposed were being subverted by lefty globalist a-holes to stay on the good side of the CCP. Entire channels were being removed from NLlike in late January for talking about the pandemic that the WHO wouldn't recognize as such until March 2020. So yeah, pushing the fake news narrative to protect the people responsible gets a down vote, and you'll probably burn in hell for giving cover to these genocidal lunatics.

  100. Jukka-Pekka Tuominen
    Jukka-Pekka Tuominen
    3 maanden geleden

    This doesn't really say anything about over-booking. In general not everyone can make to the flight they have ordered. They might have changed their mind or just forgot to get into airport at time. So airlines overbook certain flights to get more revenue. Hotels do this too (so it is not just airlines that do this). I would assume that now that airlines don't get overbooked that much any more they also would lose that revenue that they have previously got.