If you're looking for bargain air travel, a new study finds that you should look at more than just the ticket price. Instead, a researcher at North Carolina State University who co-authored the study says that consumers need to consider the quality of the flights being offered in order to get the best "price efficiency."The study compared flights and "price efficiencies" from several Internet travel agent Web sites.
Because each site offers widely different flights – some flights might have lengthy layovers or multiple connections -it is unwise to simply compare prices. Instead, author Dr. Sangkil Moon, an assistant professor of marketing at NC State, explains that researchers must account for both price and the quality of the flight. Dr. Wagner Kamakura of Duke University and Moon used a statistical model named the stochastic frontier model to account for the value of individual components of a flight – such as a direct flight, or a convenient departure time – and to estimate the theoretical lowest price of each flight.
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