U.S. fliers pay more to cross Atlantic

Sept. 13, 2010 at 11:25 AM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Industry analysts said it wasn't a tailwind that made it cheaper to fly across the Atlantic if the traveler began in Europe.

USA Today reported Monday that a round trip ticket between Atlanta and Paris cost $902 on a recent weeklong excursion if the traveler began in Atlanta and $544 if the traveler departed from Paris.

Similar discrepancies were noted on round trip fare comparisons between San Francisco and Milan or London and Chicago -- price differences that give Europeans advantages worth hundreds of dollars per trip.

Industry analysts said U.S. consumers are willing to pay more; it's as simple as that.

"Part of it is simply what the market will bear," said George Hobica, founder of airfarewatchdog.com.

Tom Parsons, fonder of Bestfares.com, said succinctly, "Because we're Americans, we pay more."

"I think they're banking on the fact that they're going to … get more money on this side of the pond and subsidize what they can't get on the other side," Parsons said.

U.S. retail businesses do gain an advantage, especially in New York, where Europeans go to shop.

"It's very good for our economy," Hobica said.

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