Everyone knows airline pricing is based on supply and demand. Fares are more expensive during peak travel seasons like summer and to prime destinations like European capitals. So if a flight to Rome costs more than a flight to Milan, you’d think that demand for Rome must be higher or supply lower.
What’s puzzling is that you can pay a high price to a given destination but a dramatically lower price for the exact same flight if you agree to go on to another destination.
Take Alitalia to Rome, for instance, for travel in August. A round-trip, economy flight directly to Rome leaving JFK at 10:05 p.m. on Alitalia 611 on August 5 costs $1,655 when booked on April 30. Compare that to $903 for a round-trip, economy ticket to Milan (stopping in Rome) leaving JFK on the exact same Alitalia 611 flight at 10:05 p.m. on August 5. So why is Alitalia willing to fly you to Rome for $752 less than it would otherwise, plus give you an extra one-and-a-half-hour flight to Milan?
Airlines have increased their profitability in recent years by segmenting the market for air travel and charging customers different prices for the same product. In this case, the market is segmented based on demand for direct flights. Airlines know most people prefer the shortest route to their destination, so they make customers pay up for the privilege of flying direct. (They also make it a little more inconvenient if you don’t pay up for a direct flight, in order to encourage you to fly direct.)
When prices become so obviously illogical, it may be time to revisit why air tickets can’t be transferred or resold just like any other normal product. If the airlines are entitled to exploit the free market, shouldn’t customers be allowed to do the same thing?
21. According to the passage, prices are normally determined by ______.
A. travel seasons and destinations
B. peak seasons and prime attractions
C. the relationship between cost and demand
D. the relationship between supply and demand
22. What is puzzling about the airline pricing to the author?
A. Prices for different destinations on the same flight are different.
B. Prices for different destinations on the same flight are the same.
C. Price for the same flight to a nearer destination is higher.
D. Price for the same flight to a farther destination is higher.
23. According to the example, how much should you pay if you fly to Milan from JFK and
stop in Rome midway?
A. $903 for a round-trip, economy ticket
B. $1,655 for a round-trip, economy ticket
C. $752 for a one-way, economy ticket
D. $827 for a one-way, economy ticket
24. Why may prices for direct flights be higher according to the passage?
A. Because airlines charge customers different prices for the same product.
B. Because airlines take advantage of people’s preference for direct flights.
C. Because all people prefer the shortest route to their destination.
D. Because connecting flights may cause some inconvenience.
25. What’s the author’s attitude to the present airline pricing?
D. Not mentioned
21【. 答案】D。解析：细节题。根据文章第一句 Everyone knows airline pricing is based on supply and demand. 可知，机票的定价受供求关系的影响。故答案选 D。
22.【答案】C。解析：推断题。根据文章第二段可知，不同目的地的机票价格不一样，这让人感到很困惑。接着第三段作者举例说明，同一个航班，直接去罗马的往返机票价格是 1655 美元，而去米兰(在罗马经停)的往返机票价格是 903 美元。由此可知，直飞罗马的机票比去米兰(经停罗马)的机票价格要高，而根据文章又可推断出罗马比米兰更近。因此让作者困惑的是，虽然是同一个航班，但距离近的目的地机票价格却更高。故答案选 C。
23.【答案】A。解析：细节题。根据文章第三段第三句 Compare that to $903 for a round-trip, economy ticket to Milan (stopping in Rome) leaving JFK on the exact same Alitalia 611 flight at 10:05 p.m. on August 5. 可知，飞往米兰但中途会停在罗马的往返机票价格是 903 美元。故答案选 A。
24【. 答案】B。解析：细节题。根据倒数第二段最后一句话 Airlines know most people prefer the shortest route to their destination, so they make customers pay up for the privilege of flying direct. 可知，直飞的飞机票价更高的原因是航空公司知道大部分的人会选择到达目的地的最短路程，所以航空公司会让乘客因享有这种直飞的特殊待遇而多付费用。故答案选 B。
25.【答案】C。解析：态度题。作者在分析了机票定价的现象及原因之后，在最后一段表明了自己对该现象的看法，最后一段说 When prices become so obviously illogical, ... any other normal product.(当价格变得如此明显不合逻辑时，可能是时候重新考虑为什么机票不能像任何其它正常产品那样可以转移或转售这个问题了。如果航空公司有资格利用自由市场，不应该让客户做同样的事情吗?)，根据本段的用词(尤其是 illogical 不合逻辑的，不合常理的)及语调明显可以看出作者对目前的机票价格定价现象持有的是消极态度。Neutral 中立的;Positive 积极的;Negative 消极的;Notmentioned 未提及的。故答案选 C。