Here we go again: Saturday night stay may be required

I thought the annoying Saturday night stay rule was largely a thing of the past. I guess it is not.

The NY Times reports that–because major airlines struggle to offset oil prices–they have begun changing limits on cheaper coach fares, increasing the minimum days required between departure and return and, in some cases, adding a requirement of, you guessed it, a Saturday night stay.

Back in 2000, competition from low-cost carriers forced the major airlines to start dropping the limits. Until then, the Saturday night rules were in place specifically to discourage business travelers from buying the cheapest fares, which airlines then referred to as leisure fares. Business travelers do not usually want to spend a Saturday night – meaning, in effect, an entire weekend – on the road.

The Saturday night rule must be one of the stupidest rules in the world of travel. That, along with the pricing of air tickets. Yes, the one which makes it more expensive to fly anywhere directly, although flights with layovers are twice as long and require twice the resources.