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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    7A10 Darapaneni Krishna Mokshagna5 kun oldin

    Can you make more videos about avaition

  8. Brian Sieve

    Brian Sieve5 kun oldin

    That thrusting airplane head was quite the visual aid

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    Rembau Times17 kun oldin

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  11. Troy Leven

    Troy Leven19 kun oldin

    It’s the same as a hotel!!! Sell rooms for as much as you can but , it’s better to have bums in beds than an empty room.

  12. Raheen

    RaheenOy oldin

    2:02 m a g i k

  13. Sven

    SvenOy oldin

    I'm probably never flying again in this silly twisted world. Might live in an airplane graveyard before permanently moving to one for people though.

  14. bradley welch

    bradley welchOy oldin

    here in the UK flights with EasyJet are selling out over a month before the actual flights

  15. Dominic Gooden

    Dominic GoodenOy oldin

    Jamaica is not close anymore u can come

  16. Papi

    PapiOy oldin

    A Ryanair flight thats 96% sold out will often only be 90% full - because of Ryanair's no shows, no refunds no overbooking policies

  17. B P

    B POy oldin

    It is literally just algorithms. What you stressing about

  18. Simon Tan

    Simon Tan2 oy oldin

    The softwares that control the price are called rate crawlers.. and they don’t get confused. Everything is pre-set and can be changed with a click of a mouse. Fyi

  19. Arnab SurbhamSur

    Arnab SurbhamSur2 oy oldin

    This will probably make us return to the generation when airline tickets were expensive and only for rich ppl.

  20. David 2.0

    David 2.02 oy oldin

    I flew last week and both of my flights each way, transcontinental in the US were filled. Apart from the masks, it felt like the attitude was "covid be darned."

  21. Cortex

    Cortex2 oy oldin

    Good, let these companies burn.

  22. Ryan D Hazer

    Ryan D Hazer2 oy oldin

    The accurate panther structurally alert because authorization demographically bounce into a murky recorder. medical, mushy transport

  23. Jbig1430

    Jbig14303 oy oldin

    The simple solution is to sell only 85 to 90% of all the seats and the remaining percent charge the highest there so you get the last min people who are rich.

  24. CryptoMasta

    CryptoMasta3 oy oldin

    The sneaky may iteratively disarm because bathroom multivariately change since a rich linda. aberrant, puzzled stem

  25. Nick Stone

    Nick Stone3 oy oldin

    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.

  26. Dad Bod vs The World

    Dad Bod vs The World3 oy oldin

    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.

  27. Tom Clark

    Tom Clark4 oy oldin

    9:26 Bournemouth Airport

  28. Karsten Cen

    Karsten Cen4 oy oldin

    December 15 2020, when my flight got cancelled

  29. metalfoot

    metalfoot4 oy oldin

    10:05 "Phuket" 🤔

  30. KielEire

    KielEire4 oy oldin

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

  31. Carls Carl

    Carls Carl4 oy oldin

    I appreciate airplanes. I mean fuck walking

  32. GoinManta

    GoinManta4 oy oldin

    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.

  33. Rasmussen Invincible

    Rasmussen Invincible4 oy oldin

    Eventually affordable prices

  34. Musical1inNM

    Musical1inNM5 oy oldin

    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

  35. 徐鹏飞

    徐鹏飞4 oy oldin


  36. Bram Meijer

    Bram Meijer5 oy oldin

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

  37. Sheev Palpatine

    Sheev Palpatine3 oy oldin

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

  38. Scott Nope

    Scott Nope5 oy oldin

    Sooo airlines are responsible for people dying in Florida?

  39. Krajcik Pritchard

    Krajcik Pritchard4 oy oldin


  40. Brad Sadler

    Brad Sadler5 oy oldin

    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.

  41. UKinQ8 Gaming

    UKinQ8 Gaming5 oy oldin

    I love how half interesting these videos are ❤

  42. Jesse Berg

    Jesse Berg5 oy oldin

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

  43. Acel Shock

    Acel Shock5 oy oldin

    This video was made possible by COVID-19

  44. Cihan Kivanc

    Cihan Kivanc5 oy oldin

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

  45. Andrew Truett

    Andrew Truett5 oy oldin

    Newark is NJ

  46. Thomas Brown

    Thomas Brown5 oy oldin

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

  47. oceans taiga

    oceans taiga5 oy oldin

    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

  48. Richard Conte

    Richard Conte5 oy oldin

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

  49. Aazam Chattha

    Aazam Chattha5 oy oldin

    lol ryan air

  50. Justin Masayda

    Justin Masayda5 oy oldin

    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.

  51. Eric Stevens

    Eric Stevens5 oy oldin

    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

  52. Brad Sadler

    Brad Sadler5 oy oldin

    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

  53. Ted Chou

    Ted Chou5 oy oldin

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

  54. James C.

    James C.6 oy oldin


  55. Shivam Gupta

    Shivam Gupta5 oy oldin


  56. steveghanbari

    steveghanbari6 oy oldin

    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.

  57. Darth Makroth

    Darth Makroth6 oy oldin

    At this point you should become an airline accountant

  58. John Rupesh

    John Rupesh6 oy oldin

    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.

  59. Domagoj Pribanic

    Domagoj Pribanic6 oy oldin

    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?

  60. Tirex367

    Tirex3676 oy oldin

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

  61. nuthnmuchu

    nuthnmuchu6 oy oldin

    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

  62. Juan Hernandez

    Juan Hernandez6 oy oldin

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

  63. Kris Yeti

    Kris Yeti6 oy oldin

    "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.

  64. TheMarioMen1

    TheMarioMen16 oy oldin

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

  65. Fakhri Jauhar

    Fakhri Jauhar6 oy oldin

    0:37 is this Ngurah Rai Bali Airport?

  66. darknessblade

    darknessblade6 oy oldin

    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

  67. Axcellent Walukow

    Axcellent Walukow6 oy oldin

    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.

  68. h h

    h h6 oy oldin

    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.

  69. Aidan Brady

    Aidan Brady6 oy oldin

    The dude is annoying

  70. J Jones

    J Jones6 oy oldin

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

  71. navdas one

    navdas one6 oy oldin

    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.

  72. Alexander Ulanov

    Alexander Ulanov6 oy oldin

    2:02 haha what the hell is she doing

  73. spinalcrackerbox

    spinalcrackerbox6 oy oldin

    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.

  74. Steven Adams

    Steven Adams6 oy oldin

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

  75. Rob

    Rob6 oy oldin

    @ 9:25 , Is that Norwich Airport?

  76. hummelman

    hummelman7 oy oldin

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

  77. Brandon King

    Brandon King7 oy oldin

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

  78. qwertymonsta

    qwertymonsta7 oy oldin

    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.

  79. Jason Crobar

    Jason Crobar7 oy oldin

    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...

  80. Jason Crobar

    Jason Crobar7 oy oldin

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

  81. NextNate03

    NextNate037 oy oldin

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

  82. axlin

    axlin7 oy oldin

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

  83. mining craft

    mining craft7 oy oldin

    2:02 that woman using her mind to type

  84. Ryan T.A

    Ryan T.A7 oy oldin


  85. Tom

    Tom7 oy oldin

    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.

  86. David Beppler

    David Beppler7 oy oldin

    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!

  87. One Time

    One Time7 oy oldin

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

  88. herogoose

    herogoose7 oy oldin

    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.

  89. Filip Poutintsev

    Filip Poutintsev7 oy oldin

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

  90. Popper Shnoz

    Popper Shnoz7 oy oldin

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

  91. limpqizbuit

    limpqizbuit7 oy oldin

    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.

  92. Karol Stopinski

    Karol Stopinski7 oy oldin

    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.

  93. Chinese Memer

    Chinese Memer7 oy oldin

    Better question, why not trains

  94. Jeremi Miller

    Jeremi Miller7 oy oldin

    All this over a cold!

  95. FullSizedGaming

    FullSizedGaming7 oy oldin

    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.

  96. FullSizedGaming

    FullSizedGaming7 oy oldin

    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.

  97. Kevin

    Kevin7 oy oldin

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

  98. Tzizenorec

    Tzizenorec7 oy oldin

    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!

  99. Хрупа Хрупов

    Хрупа Хрупов7 oy oldin

    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.

  100. xChaleur

    xChaleur7 oy oldin

    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

  101. D1V15OR

    D1V15OR7 oy oldin

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

  102. luis tena

    luis tena7 oy oldin

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

  103. Rosemarie Landers

    Rosemarie Landers7 oy oldin


  104. Ripcord

    Ripcord7 oy oldin

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

  105. Ardakapalasan

    Ardakapalasan7 oy oldin

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

  106. RezaQin

    RezaQin7 oy oldin

    How the lockdowns broke it, not Covid itself.

  107. danpos

    danpos7 oy oldin

    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?

  108. Smash

    Smash7 oy oldin

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

  109. Jared Emberton

    Jared Emberton7 oy oldin

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

  110. Rotogas

    Rotogas7 oy oldin

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

  111. MrSupergibs

    MrSupergibs7 oy oldin

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