Posts: 3981
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2003 1:10 am

Why Do They Still Use The 'saturday Night' Rule?

Fri Jun 04, 2004 11:44 pm

LCC's have proven that offering one way tickets for 50% of the return fare is popular with leisure travellers as well with businessmen. So, why do most non-lcc's still have that stupid Saturday night rule? Like now in summer, in the weekend the hotels are so expensive, while on tuesdays and wednesdays they're almost empty and cheap to book. I always book FR or Hapag Lloyd Express for a one night trip from tuesday till wednesday.

Posts: 3167
Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 3:17 am

RE: Why Do They Still Use The 'saturday Night' Rule?

Fri Jun 04, 2004 11:50 pm

If you are a business traveller you don't stay a Saturday night so apparently can pay more. It is a way of charging business more.

This is where a transatlantic no frills airline (or frills at extra cost airline) may be successfull, they would operate without the Saturday night rule and be popular with business.

Posts: 3981
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2003 1:10 am

RE: Why Do They Still Use The 'saturday Night' Rule?

Fri Jun 04, 2004 11:58 pm

Thinking about that I would think a LCC transatlantic, or longhaul anywhere, could work. Just offer one way tickets, buy your food and drinks, or bring it yourself which I always do anyway. Beer is to expensive since I normally drink a beer every 15 minutes on a flight......  Laugh out loud

To be serious, why would a longhaul LCC not work? Same fares, same seat pitch, but just no saturday night rule....... I guess many businesses would book that airline. And it would benefit the leisure travellers as well. My last 2 Europe US trips where only for 24 hours, but you have to go in the weekend at the moment, I would prefer Tuesday- Wednesday.
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: Why Do They Still Use The 'saturday Night' Rule?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:02 am

The problem with the LCC g doing transatlantic is,

#01. No quick turn arounds.
#02. FF Miles, that is a long way to go and net get miles for your flight.
#03. You would need a different aircraft just to fly these routes.

They are many more reasons as to why these will not work, another one you do not have the premium cabins paying a higher fare to off set the cheap fares you are offering to fill the plane.
You can cut the irony with a knife
Posts: 3167
Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 3:17 am

RE: Why Do They Still Use The 'saturday Night' Rule?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:04 am

A business traveller from LON-NYC who does not stay a saturday does not pay £199 return, they pay much more. But then again do business on a Friday or Monday and stay for the weekend, it is NYC after all.
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2001 7:43 am

RE: Why Do They Still Use The 'saturday Night' Rule?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:04 am

LCC's dont have large enough networks for a lot of businesses. a lot of companies for simplicity just stick with one airline... usually a major beause of the route structure or alliances with other larger airlines that go to almost every major airport. also availability of flights because business people need to be there now and time waisted in airports is time that that employee could be making money for the company. majors generally have higher frequency at airports and also offer the opportunity for the suit to connect to the same city through another flight. also another reason is that suits usually like to travel business class or higher. they usually get to keep the miles that they earn while flying for the company so they can often upgrade. upgrading on jetblue or southwest or another LCC's is impossible... they could however give you an extra bag of potato chips lol. if you travel enough flying loses it mystique and becomes boring and business people for that reason like direct routes. LCC's can offer cheaper tickets on the routes that they do offer but the major airlines will keep the sat rule to make money off the business folk on their other routes. while they will lose money on routes that LCC's fly they have the potential for a very profitable network as a whole.

from the business that is buying the tickets for its employees standpoint the sat night stay rule is a pain but the alternative of waisted productivity of the employee waiting 6 hrs for a flight. waist 6 hrs of the employees time while he is on the clock or pay the 100 bucks for a ticket on a major airline?

hope i helped
kick the tires and light the fires
Posts: 384
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:31 am

RE: Why Do They Still Use The 'saturday Night' Rule?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 1:19 am

There was an airline that attempted low cost, long haul flying. Quite popular until they were squashed by BA, or so they claim.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ian Oswald (via Martin Stephen)

Popular enough to profitable. Can't answer.
Posts: 2900
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:04 am

RE: Why Do They Still Use The 'saturday Night' Rule?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 2:30 am

KL911 asks: So, why do most non-lcc's still have that stupid Saturday night rule?

Because most of the U.S. non-LCCs are stupid. As in stupid enough to think that they can go on targeting business pax with their price gouging schemes -- while asking aloud, "where have all the business travelers gone?" Fact is, they're back in full force, but either flying on the LCCs or outscheming and outconniving the legacies and being counted as leaisure travelers because they have figured out how to beat the legacies soundly at their own pricing games. In the legacies' way of thinking, if you're not paying an outrageous fare, you cannot possibly be a business traveler; just one example of how utterly stupid (besides out of touch with reality) the U.S. legacies are.
Posts: 16279
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:29 pm

RE: Why Do They Still Use The 'saturday Night' Rule?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 2:36 am

A low-cost transatlantic service will not really be worth it, primarily because airfares during the winter are already low to very low - you can normally fly LON-NYC for about 180 GBP with BA, so about 90 GBP each way. You couldn't shave much off that at all. The only real possibility is to acquire old 747s or DC-10s and operate during the summer only, when fares are normally expensive to very expensive - it's normally 400 GBP or more to fly from LON to NYC. But this would have be impractical: what do you do with the staff and aircraft during the winter, when they're not needed? It would be inefficient. Also, low-cost airlines generally operate short routes and thereby have excellent aircraft and staff utilisation, which helps to reduce costs. But if an airline began transatlantic flights, it'd only be able to do one round-trip per day. Again, it'd only be worthwhile during the summer, but then there would be major problems to overcome. I guess you could possibly have two distinct seasons and operations: during the winter, you could - on a low-cost basis -fly to Lagos, Tokyo, Nairobi, etc., which are normally very expensive to get to when flying non-stop, and, during the summer, fly to the USA only, again on a low-cost basis. This would solve the problem of the what to do with staff and aircraft during the winter.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
Posts: 2082
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:58 am

RE: Why Do They Still Use The 'saturday Night' Rul

Sat Jun 05, 2004 2:45 am

Charter airlines obviously make enough profit flying long haul like LGW-SFB. In terms of service, many are similar to LCCs anyway. For example, seat booking costs extra, sometimes meals cost extra too, seat pitch is dire, etc, etc. One airline has a year-round fare of something like £500, which is £100-300 cheaper than scheduled airlines during summer.

Anybody remember that airline that was supposedly starting up last summer, LTN to SFB/MCO?

And there's that Backpackers' Express (?) starting up soon, UK to Oz.

Geoff M.
Posts: 683
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2003 3:32 am

RE: Why Do They Still Use The 'saturday Night' Rule?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 2:58 am


Cheers to that one! Major carriers are stupid. They gouge their best customers and as a frequent business traveller (1 to 2 times per week) it pisses me off! It should be the other way around! Business is back- but companies and people are smarter. The era of the $2,000 R/T midweek ticket between NYC and DAL is ending! Thank goodness! Long live competition.
Posts: 1875
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 4:43 pm

RE: Why Do They Still Use The 'Saturday Night' Rule?

Sat Jun 05, 2004 3:01 pm

Thanks for asking a question I've asked out own pricing gurus for years to absolutely no avail. My theory was that since so many were buying phantom leg or back to back RTs to subvert this carrier enforced robbery and that so many FC cabins were filled with upgrades or non revs then why not dump the Sat layover reg, lower the premium (and the embarrassing fare differences with LCCs, raise the goodwill, return brand loyalty and have a reliable Load Factor that could be counted on. For far to long the legacies have counted in the 12% in the front cabin for something like 40% of the revenue. That market model is D E A D Hello..
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos