One night last week I had a $31 Orchestra seat - I know of at least 3 student ticket holders in Row A.
$149.00 seats sold for $15.00 - cellphones lit, jeans and sneakers propped up on the orchestra pit wall.
This is their target audience? These are not SAB students. At what point in time do they think these people
will pay $149.00? The website shows Student tickets available for every performance this week.
NYCB pricing scheme is clearly out of hand, but the availability of student tickets, in general, should be supported rather than denigrated. "These people" will perhaps pay $149 when they become professionals and can afford paying more. I make use of student discounts all the time and I don't feel guilty about it--I make a pittance teaching and can't afford going regularly to the ballet otherwise. Student tickets fill in spots that have holes in the audience--so when a person with prime orchestra seats donates their tickets at the last minute, they feed those into student rush availability if they cannot be sold. Perhaps you didn't like these students, but NYCB has to do something to fill seats in the house, and I'm sure they did it (and others do it--do you have similar issues with ABT's $29 orchestra seat package for under 30s?) even before they drove away a lot of their audience this season.
I don't begrudge student tickets. I don't think anyone does. The main objection I have is the lack of clarity. Do what ABT does, do what the Met Opera does - sell back of orchestra or other designated seats to younger people & make them available same day. My problem is that as a normal ticket buyer the whole thing has become more difficult.
No one should feel guilty about discounted tickets. I wouldn't be able to go to the ballet as often as I do without discount tickets. The problem is the confusion about what seating is for sale. As I've stated earlier I bought tickets at the atrium for a performance of Jewels last Sat. Great seats, great performance - loved it, but I was surrounded by SAB students who had obviously been given comps. I had a great experience and I'm sure they did, but I didn't get it.