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Single More Expensive Than Return Tickets. Why?  
User currently offlineSAA-SAL From Belgium, joined Nov 2000, 356 posts, RR: 3
Posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5912 times:

This has already happened twice to me : In March I wanted to buy a single ticket between Geneva and Madrid on Swiss. This ticket was priced at approx 1000 Euros. I then went to a travel agent who bought me a return ticket on this route for less than 300 Euros including commission. Now I wish to travel between Nice and Madrid with single tickets varying between 700 and 900 Euros. The return tickets cost about 350 Euros. My question is why does a single ticket cost me more than a return. The airline is actually being payed more to offer less! This goes for any day of the week , be it a Saturday or a Tuesday. What is the economical logic behind this for airlines?

SAA B747 SP, Luxavia B747 SP
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 9428 posts, RR: 39
Reply 1, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5868 times:

First, it's because all one-way tickets cost the full Y-class fare. The full fare for a round-trip should be exactly two times the one-way fare.

Second, as I was once told by an agent, it's mostly businessmen who fly one-way, and they neither bother about the money to be spent, nor are they able to plan ahead to get lower fares.

Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineIslandHopper From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 327 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5783 times:

Too bad Europe isn't served by JetBlue. They sell one-way tickets for half the round trip price.

User currently offlineLanPeru From Peru, joined Jun 2001, 646 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5759 times:

My guess is that with a roundtrip ticket you have a guaranteed revenue on both flight regardless if you decide to return or not. The one-way is only playing for one flight so the airline has to make as much revenue from that flight possible.

User currently offlineLMML 14/32 From Malta, joined Jan 2001, 2566 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5740 times:

...it's mostly businessmen who fly one-way...

On the contrary, businessmen want to return to their office as soon as possible. That is why they are actualy made to pay for the business class fare. Most cheaper restrictive fares are for a duration of 3 days or more. The longer the minimum stay the cheaper the ticket. A businessman who cannot afford to stay away for the office cannot use this fare and has to buy a business class ticket - hence the name!

Like Aloges said, a one way Y fare is half the full return Y fare, which in Europe equates (on most airlines) the Business class fare. There are some limited discounts on Business class fares these days. AirMalta calls it D class. All the other Economy fare designations MLHVBQTG are the restrictive but cheaper return fares in a descending order.

User currently offlineZSSNC From Germany, joined Feb 2003, 428 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5735 times:


while in Europe it might be generally true that all oneway-tickets cost the normal Y-fare (but then again, think of DI and all the others) it is certainly not true for other continents where even major carriers offer reduced oneway fares (e.g. KA7 in South Africa) and then again there are even countries where domestic fares are always oneway fares and no roundtrip fares are offered at all.


Airbus A340-600 - the longest temptation in the sky
User currently offlineSwissgabe From Switzerland, joined Jan 2000, 5266 posts, RR: 31
Reply 6, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5703 times:

Well, most airlines charge on their grey-market fares around 70% or the return fare.

For me the reason is very simple. I mean if you find 100 people flying from A to B and return it is much easier then finding when you find 100 people flying from A to B only. So you have to find another 100 people flying from B to A only.

As per the IATA published fare, the ow fare is half of the return fare.

Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4297 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5657 times:

My brother has flown Economy (K) in the US on Continental one-way, that's what he takes when he goes to Albany most of the time.

What now?
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