I get the intent of minimum stay requirements. What I don’t get is why airlines refuse to price their product in a rational and understandable manner, and at an amount that covers their costs. I have long supported the idea of selling only one-way fares, and I still do. Airlines spend enormous amounts of money and energy to keep their convoluted yield management systems going. Folks, it costs money to offer 30 different fares in the same market. It costs money to employ an analyst dedicated to that market. Argh! I give up!
Frankly, I think it is doubtful that the return of the “Saturday Night Stay” will have anything more than a short-term positive effect on airline revenues. There are alternatives to the “legacy” carriers the impose these rules, and those alternatives are now mostly large enough to fly us wherever we want to go in this country. And the airlines are fooling themselves if they believe that business travelers will just succumb to the latest attempt to soak them for revenue.
But in defense of the airlines, they are facing a dire financial emergency with $130 dollar a barrel oil. I don’t blame them for trying anything to ease the pain. I just don’t think this will work in the long run.