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Single More Expensive Than Return Tickets. Why?

Sun Jun 22, 2003 5:29 am

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?
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RE: Single More Expensive Than Return Tickets. Why?

Sun Jun 22, 2003 5:34 am

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.
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RE: Single More Expensive Than Return Tickets. Why?

Sun Jun 22, 2003 2:11 pm

Too bad Europe isn't served by JetBlue. They sell one-way tickets for half the round trip price.
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RE: Single More Expensive Than Return Tickets. Why?

Sun Jun 22, 2003 3:45 pm

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.
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RE: Single More Expensive Than Return Tickets. Why?

Sun Jun 22, 2003 4:29 pm'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.
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RE: Single More Expensive Than Return Tickets. Why

Sun Jun 22, 2003 4:37 pm


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.

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RE: Single More Expensive Than Return Tickets. Why?

Sun Jun 22, 2003 5:28 pm

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.
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RE: Single More Expensive Than Return Tickets. Why?

Sun Jun 22, 2003 8:22 pm

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.
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