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I live in Resistencia, about 350Km away from Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. And about 1000Km away from Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, my own country.

Let's assume I want to go to Miami.

If I search flights originating from my city, most travel websites (Google Flights, Despegar, etc) will try to sell me tickets from Resistencia to Buenos Aires, and then to Miami. This will end up costing me 27.000 Argentine pesos. Usually this includes flights from Aerolinas Argentinas only, as it seems to be the lowest priced airline. The trip to Buenos Aires is usually 2000-2500 pesos for both tickets. So the bulk of the pricing is the international flight.

Instead, if I search for flights to Miami from Asuncion, Paraguay, I also get two flights (usually stopping in Lima or Panama), but the price is actually as low as 12.000 Pesos. There are no flights to Asuncion but it's a 5-6 hour bus ride.

Why is this difference so HUGE? I think maybe because the Aerolineas flight is a direct flight, and the others make a stop somewhere else.

Edit: this is, I think, a diffrent question from How do airlines determine ticket prices? because that one explains about "fine" pricing by airlines, simulations, etc. I don't think this is related, because that fine pricing is usually a few % points. This is a whooping 50% difference. There must be something different going on.

marked as duplicate by fkraiem, Neusser, Giorgio, Kuba, JonathanReez May 9 '18 at 16:13

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Extra info: I have no planned date. I will plan my trip according to the lowest fare I can find. – hjf May 9 '18 at 13:49
  • Welcome to TSE. The reason behind your fare difference is the same as in the examples in the other question. It is not exceptional for two different airports in two different cities of different sizes and economies and in two different countries to have widely varying prices for flights to a third airport. Consider that a DCA-SFO nonstop next week is easily double the price of an IAD-SFO nonstop, and that is for two airports serving the same city in the same country and only half an hour apart without traffic. – choster May 9 '18 at 17:49

The price of a flight on a ticket on it's own may be different from the price of the same flight on a multi-stop itinary and it may be different depending on the particular route or airlines involved. Airlines may lower the price to compete with other multi-stop routes or raise the price to discourage giving buisness to non-partnert airlines. They may lower prices for purely domestic itinaries for political reasons. These differences can be very substantial.

To get to Miami from Resistencia it seems you are forced to use Aerolíneas Argentinas for the first leg and if you want to do the journey in one stop forced to use them for the second leg too. So there is little competition.

OTOH to get to Miami from Asuncion there seem to be at least three different one-stop routes operated by four different airlines. COPA via panama, Avianica via Lima, Aerolineas Argentinas Via Buenos Aires, LATAM via Lima.

In other words there is lots more competition, so it's hardly surprising that there are lower prices.

  • 2
    Taxes and fees are an issue too. This is why BUF-SEA is so much cheaper than YYZ-SEA, even though the airports are just 150 km apart - U.S. customs fees, plus higher airport fees in Toronto. – Jim MacKenzie May 9 '18 at 16:18
  • 1
    Thanks. I suspected something like this was going on. @JimMacKenzie, I think this also happens in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina vs Foz do Iguazu, Brazil. They are only a few km apart, but flights from Foz are much cheaper. There is a whole industry of flights to Foz and then people taking the bus in Argentina. I hope this will change soon. Now it's significantly cheaper to fly Rio-Foz-bus-Iguazu-Cordoba than Rio-Cordoba). Flights are scheduled in foz to give you plenty of time to go from one country to another. – hjf May 9 '18 at 18:41
  • BTW, Aerolineas Resistencia-Buenos Aires is not an expensive flight. Buying the tickets a couple of months before is about $50, maybe even less. It's actually HALF the price of a 12 hour bus ride. – hjf May 9 '18 at 19:26

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