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Why do airlines encourage you to stay overnight on Saturday?

Dear Matt:

Why do airlines encourage, even require that no matter where you go, you stay overnight on Saturday? What do they care? It's almost like they don't want any planes in the air on Saturday. Why not?

-- Stewart Adellson, Chula Vista

They care because airlines historically have made a ton of money from business travelers -- the guy who finds out on Monday that he has to be in Syracuse for a meeting on Wednesday. They make their reservations on short notice, and in virtually every case the mug who's sent to Syracuse wants to get back home ASAP. Wednesday night. Thursday, latest. They pay top dollar for the ticket. So if you're a clever airline, you offer discounts only to people who make reservations two or three weeks in advance and who plan to stay at their destinations overnight on Saturday. For mom and dad and the kids going to Syracuse to spend a week with Gwamaw and Gwampaw, no problem. This is the kind of maneuver airlines are very good at. Actually getting you to Syracuse -- not so good.

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Dear Matt:

Why do airlines encourage, even require that no matter where you go, you stay overnight on Saturday? What do they care? It's almost like they don't want any planes in the air on Saturday. Why not?

-- Stewart Adellson, Chula Vista

They care because airlines historically have made a ton of money from business travelers -- the guy who finds out on Monday that he has to be in Syracuse for a meeting on Wednesday. They make their reservations on short notice, and in virtually every case the mug who's sent to Syracuse wants to get back home ASAP. Wednesday night. Thursday, latest. They pay top dollar for the ticket. So if you're a clever airline, you offer discounts only to people who make reservations two or three weeks in advance and who plan to stay at their destinations overnight on Saturday. For mom and dad and the kids going to Syracuse to spend a week with Gwamaw and Gwampaw, no problem. This is the kind of maneuver airlines are very good at. Actually getting you to Syracuse -- not so good.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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