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Why Is It Cheaper NYC-LON Than LON-NYC?

Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:40 am

Can anyone offer a reasonable explanation as to why it is always cheaper to buy a NYC-LON ticket than it is to buy a LON-NYC ticket?

I know the $-£ rate is very good at the moment, but we're seeing fares around twice the price in the UK as in the US.

I'll give you an example, to fly over to see my partner in May its going to cost around £330, but for him to fly to London would cost $440, which even at a more usual exchange rate of 1.6 is still £60 cheaper (£100 at today's rate).

Is this Rip Off Britain, or is it just market pricing? Even pre 9/11 its been cheaper for US-UK flights than UK-US.

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RE: Why Is It Cheaper NYC-LON Than LON-NYC?

Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:48 pm

I see this often.
Usually its because the seat availabilty on the NYC-LON flight on the same day is higher (i.e. less people flying) than from LON-NYC on the same day.

Generally prices each way are the same year round, the only thing that influcences a difference is around UK and US Govt Holidays when more people from one side than the other want to cross the atlantic...

E.G. US-UK fares around the last weekend of November are higher from the US to the UK are it's labor day weekend in the US.

However UK-US fares are usually higher at Easter as it's a more common public holiday in the UK than the US.

The real peak periods are when both US and UK holidays coincide (Christmas/NY/End of August/Early Sept)
and the low point when neither people in either country has any money to spend...

i.e. Jan / Feb.
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RE: Why Is It Cheaper NYC-LON Than LON-NYC?

Sun Mar 20, 2005 12:11 am

It is infact a weak Dollar issue, as most of the Europe-US routes tend to cost a bit more than the US-Europe routes, it is compartitvely cheap for the Europeans to travel to the US. Additionally, BA for one, has much higher Taxes and Fees than do other carriers (even in europe). I'm not sure which airline you are taking, but you might want to try a US partners website and pay USD to save a bit of cash. I know that booking the EXACT SAME itinerary from MUC-IAD, is cheaper (in taxes only) off of the United website vs the Lufthansa site by about $50. BA on the same route charges $180 in tax, vs UA/LH on the exact route which charges $108.00. I dont get it totally, I just need a seat and a pair of wings, and the ocassional drink of water, and i'm happy, so in my case, it comes to price.
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RE: Why Is It Cheaper NYC-LON Than LON-NYC?

Sun Mar 20, 2005 12:59 am

Labor Day traffic from the U.S would actually be in that peak end of August/early September period (it's the first Monday in September). The end of November rush is Thanksgiving (4th Thursday of the month). Just fyi.
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RE: Why Is It Cheaper NYC-LON Than LON-NYC?

Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:01 am

Does sales tax come into play? It is much higher in the UK.
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RE: Why Is It Cheaper NYC-LON Than LON-NYC?

Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:10 am

Many airlines are pricing USA ticket sales lower to stop the falloff of traffic due to the weak dollar. If an American traveller finds that the ticket price has increased substantially then he or she might not fly that route and either holiday elsewhere or look around.

It helps keep tourist revenue and loyal flyers on board.
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RE: Why Is It Cheaper NYC-LON Than LON-NYC?

Sun Mar 20, 2005 3:12 am

Yes the conversion rate has alot to do with it. But in most Intl markets the fares are not structured to mirror each other as you would see in domestic markets. Each originating market determines what the fares will be.

On thing people need to be aware of. Never buy full fare tickets for a round trip destination until you've checked the cost of buying a one-way at the originating point plus a one way back priced from the destination point back.
You could save well over a thousand Dollars.