DoorsToManual
Topic Author
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 12:28 am

Low-cost Airlines Not Charging Low Fares

Thu Jul 17, 2003 9:51 pm

Hi

This is an observation which I have made recently, and your thoughts are welcome too. Because I live in Europe, it concernes European LCCs.

I have recently been stunned at the relative rarity/difficulty of finding a reasonable fare on some LCCs (I don't mean something stupid like 35 euro cents or British pence etc.) I mean something like, let's say, under 70 pounds.

With easyjet, it seems quite difficult really, unless you book WAY in advance (months), and even then, I have never been able to get a good fare to the only easyjet destination that really interests me: ATHENS.

The worst offenders are Iceland Express (nothing below 108 pounds, ever, although I guess it's cheaper than the Icelandair rip-off) and Flying Finn (nothing below 98 euros each way, making them more expensive than BA or AY!!)

Inclusive with Norwegian, where fares are still never below 90 pounds. Maybe that's cheaper than BA or SK, but not by much - and if you don't mind flying to Torp, you can go for much less...

Germanwings prices ex-CGN used to be good, and fares from STN are generally also good if booked 4 weeks in advance or more, but mostly their prices to other Euro locations seem to have shot through the roof - are they really cheaper than LH to these places??

Am I being unfair here, what do people think?

I haven't mentioned some other operators, but I am finding that the above are not as cheap as they make out.

Specially on the STN-HEL route, how can a so-called "low-cost" airline charge MORE than BA or Finnair?! Buzz used to fly to Finland for much less - for only 60 pounds total on some occasions!

Over to you!
 
teahan
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Joined: Sun Nov 21, 1999 11:18 pm

RE: Low-cost Airlines Not Charging Low Fares

Thu Jul 17, 2003 9:58 pm

Well according a January 2003 Investors Presentation on Ryanair's website, here are some average fares per way (excluding taxes I presume).

Ryanair €49
easyJet €83
Air Berlin €102
Deutsche BA €114
Germanwings €131

Jeremiah
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
srbmod
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RE: Low-cost Airlines Not Charging Low Fares

Thu Jul 17, 2003 10:00 pm

LCCs like many standard airlines use revenue-management programs, which adjust seat prices based on demand. The really cheap seats go quickest, and are usually a small percentage of the seats on that flight. So to really get those dirt cheap fares, you have to book as far in advance as they will let you. Here in America, the LCCs don't do the 'bait and switch' like many Euro LCCs do, the closer to the departure date you book, the price will vary. But what is strange is that sometimes it's cheaper to book 2 weeks in advance than 3 weeks in advance. Say LCC #1 is charging $50 each way on it's ATL-MCO route (based on a 21 day advanced purchase); you wait until ten days prior to your flight to book, and that fare may rise up to $75 each way; now let's say you find out that you got to be in Orlando for a meeting in three days, that fare may rise up to $100 each way; or say you got to get to Orlando today no matter what, the walk-up fare might be $200 each way. This is an simplified way of how typical fare prices are here in the States.
 
DoorsToManual
Topic Author
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 12:28 am

RE: Low-cost Airlines Not Charging Low Fares

Thu Jul 17, 2003 10:09 pm

Hi

Thanks for the replies so far, a pleasure to read.

Srbmod, this is what I have found: easyjet last-minute fares are uniformly extremely high (I fully expect that).

This is the case with most airlines BUT on more than 1 occasion I have found some bargain last-minute fares with Germanwings and Ryanair, but usually only on midweek flights in low season.

Another observation; with flights to ATH on easyjet, the outward fare can be very reasonable i.e. 26 pounds before tax, but the RETURN leg fare is 92 pounds before tax!!! You can imagine how annoying that is but WHY?? Why not 26 pounds each way??
 
chepos
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RE: Low-cost Airlines Not Charging Low Fares

Thu Jul 17, 2003 10:09 pm

The same thing happens here in The Americas.
I have to travel to Orlando in a month and a half and the only low fare airline that has good fares is ATA- $232.00 roundtrip . AA is next with $258.00.
Spirit and SONG both have fares in the $290.00 (they are both supposed to be low fare airlines ) So I guess I'ss have to fly on either ATA or AA.
Chepos
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
richardw
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 3:17 am

RE: Low-cost Airlines Not Charging Low Fares

Thu Jul 17, 2003 10:27 pm

Low cost is a relative term and should not be used.

They are no frills airlines, because you have to pay for any drinks and snacks.

They should also be clear about their pricing, in my opinion their fares go up and down according to demand. Sometimes the airline puts a flight on sale with seats at higher prices, demand is not very good and the price falls!
 
AngelAirways
Posts: 480
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 1999 3:55 am

RE: Low-cost Airlines Not Charging Low Fares

Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:13 am

I have discovoered from experience that Paris CDG or Edinburgh EDI are always cheaper with BA from LHR (even when you add taxes) than with easyJet from Luton or Gatwick, unless you book the easyJet flight 3 months in advance  Smile

That's why BA were voted best low cost airline in a survey with 24,000 respondents.. to their surprise.
 
WMUPilot
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RE: Low-cost Airlines Not Charging Low Fares

Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:30 am

TZ would be a good choice...you may get to ride on the new 753's to MCO from MDW. I've seen TZ's prices rise a bit here in the past few weeks. I think that we are testing the waters to see how high we can get the prices before people start to complain about them. Last week I saw a family of 6 going round trip to LAS at $175.00 a person, and they bought the tickets 5 days in advance. Walk-up fare to LAS on that day was pretty impressive too $220 round trip.
JetBlue - Bringing humanity back to air travel
 
mandala499
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 8:47 pm

RE: Low-cost Airlines Not Charging Low Fares

Fri Jul 18, 2003 2:33 am

Why not compare the prices for full flexible fare for say tomorrow peak hour...
Will the LCCs be more expensive? I doubt it...

Mandala499
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
goingboeing
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Low-cost Airlines Not Charging Low Fares

Fri Jul 18, 2003 2:40 am

TZ would be a good choice...you may get to ride on the new 753's to MCO from MDW. I've seen TZ's prices rise a bit here in the past few weeks. I think that we are testing the waters to see how high we can get the prices before people start to complain about them. Last week I saw a family of 6 going round trip to LAS at $175.00 a person, and they bought the tickets 5 days in advance. Walk-up fare to LAS on that day was pretty impressive too $220 round trip.

WMUPilot, you illustrate the true "low fare" concept there. Too many folks will say that the low fare carrier cost more than the "real" airline - on a 21 day, travel on a Tuesday, stay a Saturday, and come home on a Wednesday fare. The real test of a "low fare" carrier is the walk up fare. IMHO, reasonable walk up fares stimulate business in that someone needing to travel at the last minute will find that the full fare won't break the bank. Mainline carriers have yet to discover this, however.
 
DoorsToManual
Topic Author
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 12:28 am

RE: Low-cost Airlines Not Charging Low Fares

Fri Jul 18, 2003 2:41 am

Mandala, with respect, that's not the point.

My point above was that it was becoming increasingly difficult (with some LCCs) to find reasonably low fares, even in advance. Some LCCs have a fixed price structure, so that no matter how far in advance you book, the price will remain the same (usually high...)

Other airlines used to offer some great fares to start with, then prices eventually crept up (Germanwings).

I love the LCCs, but with some, it seems you have to wait until they have a special offer (through newspapers and such), before you can easily avail of good value fares, significantly lower than those of full-service airlines.

ciao
 
docpepz
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RE: Low-cost Airlines Not Charging Low Fares

Fri Jul 18, 2003 4:39 pm

I've been in Paris for the past 2 months and will be here till the end of Sept. Full service carriers like BMI and BA have always been cheaper than Ryanair and Easyjet.

With taxes, CDG-LHR return costs €112 on BA (€69 without)

On BMI it costs about the same too.

This is presuming I book it 3 weeks in advance.

Ryanair and Easyjet all gave me fares that were ranging from €80 to 100 without taxes. Plus, Ryanair takes off from some strange airport trillions of miles from Paris and lands in Luton or something.

Heathrow - Chiswick on the tube costs £2.
Stansted/Luton - Chiswick would cost at least £15, or €23. That would erase any price gains I might have gotten from choosing Easyjet.

In short, I have learnt that low cost airlines do not give you the best fares unless you book about 2 milleniums in advance.

So over the past 2 months, i have done CDG-LHR vv on BMI once and BA twice.

In short, if you do not land in Heathrow when flying from Paris, the extra cost and time spent makes the Eurostar a more viable option.

Sometimes a full service carrier flight is cheaper than the EUrostar. Friday night departure on Eurostar costs €75 whereas a one way ticket on BMI WITH taxes costs €53.

Thanks to low cost carriers, we are able to enjoy low fares on full service carriers.
 
TriStar500
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RE: Low-cost Airlines Not Charging Low Fares

Fri Jul 18, 2003 4:51 pm

From my experience of several dozen flight bookings this year (I am doing this task in my company as well as for my private travels), I have discovered a certain price and booking pattern.

Up until about one or two months before departure, the low-cost airline flights are usually cheaper than "regular" airlines on the same route. Until about four weeks before departure, the cheaper fare classes have been booked out. At this point, it becomes more sensible to look for cheaper fares at the regular airlines, because their chepaest fare classes haven't still been booked. This rule changes again about one week before departure, when fare prices on regular airlines increase up to walkup fare level on the day of departure. At this point, low-cost airlines usually have the edge again.

Works pretty well on a those routes I am regularily booking. E.g. on DUS/CGN-VIE it is cheaper to book OS/LH about one to four weeks before departure than 4U.
4U round trip fares at that point usually range between 150 and 250 Euro/rt, while OS/LH are usually still at their entry level of either 149 or 184 Euro/rt.
If it is less than one week, 4U usually stands at between 210-250 Euro/rt, while OS/LH are at 450 Euro or more.

Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
jhooper
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RE: Low-cost Airlines Not Charging Low Fares

Fri Jul 18, 2003 5:09 pm

"Low cost" means low cost for them, not you  Big grin
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
asgeirs
Posts: 508
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RE: Low-cost Airlines Not Charging Low Fares

Sat Jul 19, 2003 9:39 am

> The worst offenders are Iceland Express (nothing below 108 pounds, ever, > although I guess it's cheaper than the Icelandair rip-off)

Do you realize that Iceland only has about 290.000 inhabitants and Iceland Express only operates one aircraft (well it's actually Astraeus that operates the jet, but...)? By Icelandic standards, their lowest fare (about £110 for a KEF-STN-KEF roundtrip) is very cheap. It costs nearly as much to fly a 35 minute domestic flight on a Dornier 228.

No offense  Smile/happy/getting dizzy , but I think you are being a bit harsh in stating that Iceland Express is the worst offender.



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