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Complete Question Explanation

Weaken—#%. The correct answer choice is (D)

Your task in this Weaken question is to select the answer that most undermines the conclusion that
airlines are overconcerned about the comfort of passengers flying on business. Reordered for clarity,
the argument proceeds:

..... Premise: ..... several airlines are increasing elbow room and leg room in business class due
..... ..... ..... ..... to surveys that show business travelers value additional space more than better
..... ..... ..... ..... meals

..... Premise: ..... but, leisure travelers purchase 80 percent of all airline tickets

..... Conclusion: ..... thus, airlines are overconcerned about the comforts of business travelers, and
..... ..... ..... ..... should instead focus on the comfort of leisure passengers

The most obvious weakness in this argument is that the conclusion relies on a single premise
presenting a large percentage, and appears to presume that a large percentage requires a large
concomitant number. So, your prephrase is that the correct answer will undermine the conclusion by
showing that despite the percentage of tickets purchased by leisure travelers, the business travelers
provide a greater percentage of the revenue.

The incorrect answers will not undermine the conclusion, and instead will either have no effect on
the conclusion or will support it.

Answer choice (A): Without information suggesting the airlines should be more concerned with the
satisfaction of business travelers than leisure travelers, this answer has no effect on the conclusion.

Answer choice (B): You may be attracted to this answer choice because it implies the airlines can
improve the comfort of both passenger groups at the same time. However, this compromise position
does not undermine the conclusion that the airlines are overconcerned with the comforts of business

Answer choice (C): This choice does not affect the conclusion, because it merely states something
concerning which leisure travelers are not primarily concerned, and fails to address the conclusion.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice.This choice is correct because it provides
that despite the greater percentage of tickets sold to leisure travelers, business travelers provide a far
greater proportion of the airlines’ revenue.

Answer choice (E): This choice does not affect the conclusion, because you do not have sufficient
context to gauge the affect of this tendency by leisure travelers to buy only discounted tickets. For
example, how does this tendency affect the airlines’ revenue, specifically the difference in revenue
provided by business travelers versus leisure travelers?
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I chose D but am wondering about E.
At first sight I thougt since it says "Most" "discount"...I assumed they pay cheaper.
And business people do not buy they pay higher and thus they are the important customers.
Is this unwarranted assumption and that's why wrong?
 Adam Tyson
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Thanks for the question, 15veries, and for your analysis. You have hit the nail on the head with your own answer here, and that is that you are indeed making an unwarranted assumption about business travelers when looking at answer E. We simply have no way of knowing whether they pay full price or, like most leisure travelers, pay a discount. We also have no way of knowing whether their fares are high enough, or consistent enough, to outweigh the fares of the 80% who travel for leisure.

The issue raised in the stimulus is a numbers and percentages problem. Leisure travelers buy 80% of the tickets and so they deserve more attention than business travelers, according to our author's argument. But what if those percentages apply only to the number of tickets but not to the overall price paid for those tickets? Perhaps business travelers pay substantially more? Maybe they also spend more on other things besides fares, such as meals and drinks and luggage fees and so on? That's what leads us to select answer D here. If business travelers make up a higher proportion of the total revenues, even though they buy fewer tickets, that would explain why airlines are focused more on pleasing them.

Good self-analysis - that's the kind of thinking that will protect you from making unwarranted assumptions and selecting bad answers. Nice job, keep it up!
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Hi, I was leaning towards D but I felt I couldn't make the assumption that the premise (b/c those travelers purchase 80 of all airline tickets) was referring to the number of travelers or the revenue.

For example, I didn't know whether to interpret the stimulus as:
because leisure travelers purchase 80% of all airline, there will obviously be more leisure travelers than business travelers. Therefore airlines are overconcerned because they are focusing on the minority of travelers rather than the majority?

Is it because the stimulus doesn't talk about whether or not the airlines should focus on people who fly more often with airlines in the premise that we can assume increased revenue leads to more attention?

Sorry if this was all over the place, I didn't really know how to explain my reasoning with this one...Perhaps I'm just over thinking because I'm an econ major, and I got stuck on the work "revenue" :lol:.
My prephrase was that "airlines values those customers who pay more" but I was a bit iffy about their use of "revenue" because profit could, in the end, be the same if airlines added extra costs for the business class people, so then it didn't make sense they would overconcern themselves.
 Who Ray
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Hello Karen!

When I was first studying for the LSAT, I always found myself trying to figure out what a word really meant and going down these convoluted trails of reasoning, but 9 times out of 10 a word was just a word. In this situation, "tickets" just means "tickets" and reading it as "total ticket value" or "gross ticket profits" or as anything else ends up being really confusing.

Your first reading of the stimulus was right, and your prephrase was too! It sounds like when you read the correct AC you were thinking about stuff other than what was in the stimulus. Remember, we don't need to know anything about profit optimization to take the LSAT.

In the future, for questions like this, it is sometimes helpful to make things absurd. Instead of thinking that business class tickets are $900 and leisure class tickets are $300, forcing you to draw the graphs all econ majors seem to, try thinking that business class tickets are $90000000000 and leisure class tickets are $3. That way you wont think about nudging any of those prices around.

Who Ray

P.S. If this question was a little different, it might have been helpful to think that business class tickets are $900 and leisure class tickets are $899.99

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