rjpieces
Posts: 6849
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Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:17 pm

AA offered me DCA-LGA-MIA-JFK for a slightly higher price than DCA-LGA nonstop or DCA-JFK nonstop...I can't figure out why they would even offer such a weird routing. Anybody have a general explanation?

Also, United offered me something like DCA-LGA-IAD-JFK, and Delta offered me multiple routings through ATL and CVG. No wonder they are in serious financial troubles!
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
lincoln
Posts: 3133
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:35 pm

It has to do with the way various factors are weighted in determining the order fares/routing are displayed.

Common criteria, IIRC, include nonstop vs connecting, cost (of course), same airline vs. multiple airlines*, etc.

If AA is offering a really inexpensive fare (for promotional purposes, for example) to/from MIA this can throw off the routings you're being offered. For a similar reason, a while back any time I searched for flights, I would wind up with a much lower fare if I connected in Buffalo (who even knew it was possible to connect in Buffalo, let alone less expensive to do it?)

I've seen some wacky ones, besides Buffalo. A while back if I tried searching for LAX-MFR (usually 1-stop in either SFO, PDX, or SEA) I wound up with LAX-PDX-SEA-PDX-SFO-MFR for the outbound flight (a later search wound up with LAX-PDX-SEA-PDX-MFR whcih made so much more sense [sarcastic])

Lincoln

*- This is why codesharing was invented -- the computer thinks it's the "same airline".
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
Kevin777
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:36 pm

In general it's just got to do with their revenue management and inventory systems. The routings you mention are clearly a small computer "mistake" (to show them on the screen), not so much because of the absurd routing, but more because the weird routing is more expensive than the nonstop.

It happens all the time. Look for a ticket CPH-LON on a travel site; it will come up with cheap nonstop options with SK and BA for instance, along with expensive options via AMS, CDG etc. But again, this is sort of a computer error, because the best routing is also the cheapest - so no discussion (of course, as an a.netter, the best option os that with the most take-offs and landings and highest a/c variety, but I'm more talking about the general unknowing public....  Smile )

It is, however, very intentional when weird routings are offered along with direct ones, but at a discount - because then there indeed is a trade-off between price and convenience. You'd often see a one-stop flight, i.e. CPH-BCN via FRA being priced below a nonstop with NB or JK. You also see tickets CPH-HEL-BJS with AY being way cheaper than HEL-BJS - and tickets HEL-CPH-BJS with SK way cheaper than CPH-BJS.

Kevin777
"I was waiting for you at DFW, but you must have been in LUV" CPH-HAM-CPH CR9
 
AirTranTUS
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:40 pm

A routing like that is an easy way to earn miles. If you want to collect, go for it.
I love ASO!
 
EddieDude
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:29 am

Yeah, I booked this Easter a MEX-EWR-ORD-MEM-ATL-MEX flight with NW (only ORD-MEM-ATL was NW operated; MEX-EWR-ORD was CO operated and ATL-MEX was DL operated) in first class and I paid about U.S.$300 for all. It was a great mileage run!!!
Next flights: MEX-LAX AM 738, LAX-PVG DL 77L, SHA-PEK CA 789, PEK-PVG CA A332, PVG-ORD MU 77W, ORD-MEX AM 738
 
Cessna057
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:32 am

Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 3):
A routing like that is an easy way to earn miles. If you want to collect, go for it.

Or just jump off at LGA..
Hold it . . . Hold it . . . HOLD THE FREAKIN NOSE UP!!
 
panam330
Posts: 1955
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 11:58 am

RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 6:39 am

Quoting Cessna057 (Reply 5):
Or just jump off at LGA..

Not very smart if he has to return to his origin of travel. The airline will almost certainly void the rest of his ticket.
 
coerj
Posts: 216
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 9:52 am

This is verry common due to the system the airlines use. A cheap from TPA-SDF on CO (that connects through EWR) is usually much cheaper than just EWR-TPA alone.

If you ask for a flight from DUB to SNN on CO, you may come up with a result such as, DUB-SNN-EWR-DUB-SNN

Or RIO to Sao Paulo on CO as.. Rio-Sao Paulo-Houston-Sou Paulo

The reservation systems aren't humans and they don't consider what's stupid and what's not, rather what's cheaper and more practical
 
777DadandJr
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:32 am

I once looked into flying to NYC, and the routing I was offerd by CO was:
MDT-CVG-DTW-ERI-EWR. The scheduled service was 11.5 hours.
Needless to say, i drove to NYC in 3 hours.

Go figure!

Russ
My glass is neither 1/2 empty nor 1/2 full, rather, the glass itself is twice as big as it should be.
 
cy319
Posts: 368
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:36 am

when i tried AZ on LHR-ATH, it was cheaper to go LHR-FCO-MXP-ATH (2 stops) rather than having only 1 stop either at FCO or MXP.
wanna be travel buddies ,sex buddies .. or both ?
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:10 pm

All fares are assigned a "routing code", which is a number. Associated with this routing number is a list of cities where transfers may take place that apply to any particular fare. These routing codes sometimes have 15 to 20 cities listedn in them. Some indiciate a non-stop routing only.

Whatever res system you used exploited the routing code, making as many connections as necessary to get you a particular (the lowest) fare. Some frequent travelers use these codes to add segments at no cost and increase their mileage awards.

Granted, it's pretty ridicilous. But that's thw way it works.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
SkyexRamper
Posts: 1952
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:18 pm

I love "cheap" travel site routings! Milwaukee to Gray, IN


MKE-DTW-MKG-ORD-GRR-MDW-GYY

in the days of Chicago Express.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
g4resagent
Posts: 182
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:48 pm

Quoting RJpieces (Thread starter):
nybody have a general explanation?

Mileage baby!  Smile
 
bluewhale18210
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:23 pm

RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 3:03 pm

TPM/MPM concept, perhaps.
TPM-Ticket point mileage=The distance from A to B
MPM-Maximum permitted mileage=Total distance traveled from A to B in order for the fare to stay valid.

Breaks down to this:
From WAS-NYC (this concept only has city in mind, not airport), say the fare is $200+TX. The trip is say, 700miles, so the TPM is 700miles.
And if the MPM for the $200 fare is 1500 miles, then regardless of the routing, as long as you fly less than 1500 miles, your fare is still $200. The additional you see in the fare is probably additional airport tax, which goes to $10 per additional stop. (I think.)
Now if you are looking for that $200 fare and it is sold out on the non-stop, the computer will look for it with connection, and it may just pop out the crazy thing you mentioned. Remember, although it has multiple stops, to the computer (and the airline) you are still traveling WAS-NYC. If you are going to take this flight just make sure you don't take any bags. Probably won't see it when you finally got to JFK.
JPS on A300-600RF A319/320 B737-400/800 B757-200F B767-300F CRJ-200/900. Looking to add more.
 
WN230
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 3:05 pm

Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 3):
easy way to earn miles. If you want to collect, go for it.

And a great spotting opportunity.

WN230
Judas Priest North American tour in '08 . . . cannot wait!!!
 
ikramerica
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 3:10 pm

Quoting COERJ (Reply 7):
If you ask for a flight from DUB to SNN on CO, you may come up with a result such as, DUB-SNN-EWR-DUB-SNN

Or RIO to Sao Paulo on CO as.. Rio-Sao Paulo-Houston-Sou Paulo

This is not a mistake.

CO can't fly you from DUB-SNN O&D without leaving Ireland. Neither can they do the same in Brazil. They don't have the freedom rights to do so, though I do believe that if you originate in the USA, you can do a multi-destination trip that would include GRU and GIG and fly CO between them, because you are on the most direct routing of a roundtrip ticket. A stopover, as it were. I believe you have this same right on the QF lax-jfk flight. Americans can't book it, but if you arrived from Australia, you can get off in LAX, get on the flight another day and continue on to JFK...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
detroitflyer
Posts: 367
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:00 pm

this is actually true and sooooo wierd (Indianapolis to Dtw is more expensive than Indianapolis - Dtw - Flint)) How the hell does that work?????
Boiler Up!!!
 
rjpieces
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:14 pm

Thanks for the information everyone. Can an airline reroute you to a more convenient flight? Basically I'm wondering if I'm booked on DCA-ATL-LGA could Delta stick me on the Shuttle DCA-LGA if DCA-ATL is overbooked for example.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
Kevin777
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Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:36 pm

RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:25 pm

Quoting Detroitflyer (Reply 16):
this is actually true and sooooo wierd (Indianapolis to Dtw is more expensive than Indianapolis - Dtw - Flint)) How the hell does that work?????

Simple price differentiation - segmenting people according to willingness to pay buy fencing off the high-yield customers by imposing penalties on the cheap fares; penalties such as odd rountings (that's not a penalty, it's a gift!!  Smile )

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 17):
Thanks for the information everyone. Can an airline reroute you to a more convenient flight? Basically I'm wondering if I'm booked on DCA-ATL-LGA could Delta stick me on the Shuttle DCA-LGA if DCA-ATL is overbooked for example.

AFAIK when you buy an airline ticket from A to B it's basically up to the airline to decide how they're gonna get you there - so guess it could happen. But also the other way around (to the odd routing), but doubt they'd do it unless they really have to (but don't think there would be any legal issues as such though)

Kevin777
"I was waiting for you at DFW, but you must have been in LUV" CPH-HAM-CPH CR9
 
FrequentFlyKid
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:48 pm

I've been offered some of the craziest routes when flying between two airline hubs. If I recall, CLE-IAH brought up CLE-RIC-EWR-MSY-IAH.
 
lincoln
Posts: 3133
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:22 pm

RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:02 am

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 17):
Thanks for the information everyone. Can an airline reroute you to a more convenient flight? Basically I'm wondering if I'm booked on DCA-ATL-LGA could Delta stick me on the Shuttle DCA-LGA if DCA-ATL is overbooked for example.



Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 18):
AFAIK when you buy an airline ticket from A to B it's basically up to the airline to decide how they're gonna get you there - so guess it could happen. But also the other way around (to the odd routing), but doubt they'd do it unless they really have to (but don't think there would be any legal issues as such though)

I would say it depends. The routing is not a part of the contract between you and the airline, nor is the time of the flight, simply the date, origin and destination.

If the flight is overbooked and you voulnteer (or are Invol'ed) regardless of the fare paid, the airline can do whatever it takes to get you from point A to point B--shove you in first class, change your routing, put you on a different airline, etc., etc.

If you're trying to reroute yourself, it would likely come down to the class you're booked in. If you're in a flexable/refundable class, in many cases you can do whatever you want to get yourself from point A to B (If you're on a nonrefunadable/nonchangable ticket, you're pretty much up to the agent's mercy).

For example, I was doing CLE-MSY-CLE on CO (using a full-fare Y class ticket); I had an important meeting come up so I needed to fly home a day early, and the only way to do this was connecting in IAH. I changed to MSY-IAH-CLE at no additional charge (and not much hassle either)

Lincoln
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:04 am

Surely an aviation fan would much prefer more flying and more airports?
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
coerj
Posts: 216
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Mon Nov 06, 2006 8:26 am

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 21):
Surely an aviation fan would much prefer more flying and more airports?

Yes, of course- but an aviation fan's family? not so much...
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:10 am

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 17):
stick me on the Shuttle

Delta doesn't "stick" anyone on The Shuttle. The Shuttle is part of the route network and those flights are sold as connecting flights just like any other.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
texan
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RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:32 am

It's still better than the time I tried to take Amtrak. $210 round trip from STL-DAL, buy I had to connect in Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Antonio, and it took around 2 weeks one way. The return ticket was Dallas-St. Louis on a straight line.

That didn't quite work since I only had a 5 day break for Thanksgiving...

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
Kevin777
Posts: 951
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:36 pm

RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:45 pm

Quoting COERJ (Reply 22):
Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 21):
Surely an aviation fan would much prefer more flying and more airports?

Yes, of course- but an aviation fan's family? not so much...

Well, they'll just have to bloody accept that!!!  yes 

Kevin777!!
"I was waiting for you at DFW, but you must have been in LUV" CPH-HAM-CPH CR9
 
stlgph
Posts: 8927
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:19 pm

RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:33 pm

fun odd routings I've flown.

STL - DFW - OKC - STL - OKC - DFW - TUL - DFW - STL for $135.00 on AA.

STL - CVG - CLE - DTW - LGA on DL, CO, & AA Eagle for $138.00

STL - CLE - STL - PHX back on TWA when I had to buy a last minute ticket to Phoenix. STL - PHX last minute was $500 roundtrip on them and Southwest and America West. This routing was $310.

went IND - PHL - BDA on the outbound and went BDA - BWI - PIT - PHL - IND on the return.

also did IND - PHL - TPA as a straight shot and then did TPA - CLT - PHL - PIT - IND on the return. that was fun. and cheap.

often times AA will route you through Little Rock or Columbus into O'Hare for a cheaper rate than just flying nonstop into O'Hare. that's pretty common on their website. and for the same price, often times into O'Hare you can go via Des Moines or Cedar Rapids.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
siromega
Posts: 564
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:57 am

RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:37 pm

Quoting COERJ (Reply 22):

Yes, of course- but an aviation fan's family? not so much...

I ran into a situation like this back in June. I wanted to fly LAS-BUF. AA wanted $330 for LAS-ORD-BUF, and only $270 for LAS-ORD-ROC (my eventual final choice). However there was a LAS-DFW-ORD-BUF routing for $150. I had to do a double take. Now granted the longer routing was a red eye flight (leave LAS at 12A, arrive in BUF around 4-5PM) and the direct routing was a 6AM departure, but still half the price? Of course, I wanted to see if I could get the 777 flight between DFW and ORD but it wasnt to be (just an MD80 if I remember right).

I was fine with the longer, cheaper routing, but my sister wasn't! I figured if I wasnt checking bags (before the liquid ban/restrictions) and was just had carry-ons, it'd be OK, I wouldnt be worried about my bags making that many connections.
 
ushermittwoch
Posts: 2530
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 10:18 pm

RE: Why Do Airlines Offer Such Odd Routings

Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:44 pm

Well I am doing DUS-CDG-DTW-ATL-MSN-CVG-GSP-ATL-JFK-CDG-DUS for the same price I would have paid for DUS-ATL-MSN-ATL-DUS in March, plus I get the bonus of flying with AF on the longhaul sectors.  Smile
Where have all the tri-jets gone...

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