sccutler
Topic Author
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Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:52 pm

In connection with an upcoming trip to Tallahassee for a funeral (my wife's grandmother passed away at the remarkable age of 111 years and six months), I booked round-trip tickets for my wife and myself, DFW to Tallahassee, and round-trip tickets from Austin to Tallahassee for my son, with him connecting at DFW on the same flights we are taking.

The round-trip fare from DFW to Tallahassee is around $100 more than the round-trip fare between Austin and Tallahassee.

I also checked on booking as flexible fares, in case the weather improved to the point that I will be comfortable flying my own plane, and the flexible first-class fair is actually less than the flexible main-cabin fair. Very strange. The flexible fares were, in any event, way higher, and that, coupled with the likely-poor weather in the subject timeframe, leaves us flying commercial (or, as like to call it, on the "Aluminum Tube Of Death").

There is no question that we are seeing here the direct effect of hub domination on airfares.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
alggag
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:02 pm

This is why despite living in Houston I rarely fly on UA.
 
IAHWorldflyer
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:23 pm

I can talk about the same thing on UA out of IAH. In early October a friend from MEX and I are going to SNA. He's flying UA up to IAH to connect onto the same flights I'm using to travel IAH-SNA, and the return. His fare is $50 less than mine, even though he is flying an extra 800 miles each way.
 
raylee67
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:31 pm

It's quite normal. And the difference can be substantial on business class on long range routes. My friends living in Hong Kong who travel back and forth to US or Canada would consistently buy CX's business class flights out of SGN or MNL or even NRT rather than from HKG, so instead of buying a HKG-JFK business class ticket, they buy a SGN-HKG-JFK business class ticket, and buy a separate HKG-SGN-HKG ticket to make it HKG-SGN-HKG-JFK-HKG-SGN-HKG. (or similar with MNL or NRT or TPE, etc.), because HKG-SGN-HKG-JFK-HKG-SGN-HKG can actually be US$1000 or more cheaper than HKG-JFK-HKG. The key is that you need to have the time to do these.
319/20/21 332/33 342/43/45 359/51 388 707 717 732/36/3G/38/39 74R/42/43/44/4E/48 757 762/63 772/7L/73/7W 788/89 D10 M80 135/40/45 175/90 DH1/4 CRJ/R7 L10
AY LH OU SR BA FI
AA DL UA NW AC CP WS FL NK PD
CI NH SQ KA CX JL BR OZ TG KE CA CZ NZ JQ RS
 
YYZYYT
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:37 pm

Here's one: a few years back, was looking for tickets for the family, Toronto to St. John's Newfoundland... in the days leading up to Christmas.

Anyone from Newfoundland knows that this is an impossibly busy / expensive time to fly... The only seats were on AC (Westjet and Porter were completely sold out). Tickets in economy were $1,290 each, tickets in executive were $695 each. Easy decision.

(though, there was a downside: 3 kids who complained that they were forced to sit in the back for some time afterwards).
 
evomutant
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:51 pm

BA similar. Often cheaper to fly from MAN with a LHR connection than it is direct from LHR.

For J fares TATL it can be cheaper to fly Easyjet to AMS, stay overnight and fly BA back to LHR and on to the US than it is to just book from LHR.
 
santi319
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:57 pm

This is why everyone should be using skiplagged, that way the airlines will learn their lesson on not taking advantage of people.
 
AWACSooner
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:33 pm

santi319 wrote:
This is why everyone should be using skiplagged, that way the airlines will learn their lesson on not taking advantage of people.

As much as I hate the lack of common sense when it comes to airfare pricing, they charge what the markets dictate and can support. That's why LCC competition against the legacies is a good thing...including the ones I loathe because they charge for carry-ons.
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:47 pm

santi319 wrote:
This is why everyone should be using skiplagged, that way the airlines will learn their lesson on not taking advantage of people.



No one is being taken advantage of. It's what the market will support.
Whatever
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:49 pm

Non Stops are obviously more desirable and more expensive. As hard as it is for people to understand airfares are not priced by distance but by markets and DFW-Anywhere is not the same market as AUS-DFW-Anywhere.
 
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AA777223
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:51 pm

I booked an interesting itinerary. It seems fitting as those of us here in IAH seem to be popping up quite regularly on this thread already. UA really likes to take advantage of their captive market here.

I planned a trip to Australia and New Zealand with a buddy of mine a year or so ago. I booked the whole trip through UA on the (then) relatively new non-stop IAH-AKL. I booked the trip in paid J, IAH-AKL-SYD-LAX-IAH. The trip was roughly $5,500 for all legs, which considering the relatively direct routing and popularity of Oceania as a tourist destination, I thought was relatively reasonable. At the time, it was tough to find roundtrip J fares to Oceamia out of IAH flor less than $7K. I took the opportunity and jumped on the rate.

I called to try to reproduce the booking without the AKL-SYD leg, and the cost jumped up over $500. It seems that the going rate for a lie flat, business class fare on a NZ 772 for a 3 hour flight is -$500! I wonder if I found a little bit of a pricing glitch in the system, because when I called to see about reproducing the booking for another friend who was interested in going along, it seems that UA instituted new pricing rules on the route a week after I booked my flight. The combo of fare classes I received now required a minimum two week stay over. Guess I just got lucky!
A318/19/20/21, A300, A332/3, A343/6, A388, L1011, DC-9, DC-10, MD-11, MD-80, B722, B732/3/4/5/7/8/9, B743/4/4M, B752/3, B762/3/4, B772/E/W, B788/9, F-100, CRJ-200/700/900, ERJ-135/145/175/190, DH-8, ATR-72, DO-328, BAE-146
 
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XAM2175
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:41 pm

UpNAWAy wrote:
Non Stops are obviously more desirable and more expensive.


Except that they're not always when you consider traffic across each leg of a connecting itinerary - it just so happens that many North American carriers price their flights in ways that support this assumption being made.

For example, when I was flying MEL-BNE and return with some regularity QF consistently priced trips via SYD higher than non-stop, and via CBR even more yet - because in their judgement they could get more for each of the MEL-SYD/CBR and SYD/CBR-BNE legs from two separate passengers than they could from me when they had seats on MEL-BNE that were of no use to a passenger actually wanting to get to SYD or CBR.

I often took the connecting itinerary anyway though, because for a glorious (but alas brief) period of time it was possible to get back-to-back B763s (or a combination of B763 and A332) instead of yet-a-bloody-nother B738 on the non-stop :p
 
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N776AU
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:03 pm

santi319 wrote:
This is why everyone should be using skiplagged, that way the airlines will learn their lesson on not taking advantage of people.

I love Skiplagged. I wasn't a fan, though, of getting a nice letter in the mail from Delta telling me to cut it out.
Careful, doors are closing, and will not reopen. Please wait for the next train.
 
ridgid727
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:06 pm

Delta, SLC-IDA $398.20
Delta, SLC-PIH $219.20 airports are less than 30 miles apart
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:14 pm

evomutant wrote:
For J fares TATL it can be cheaper to fly Easyjet to AMS, stay overnight and fly BA back to LHR and on to the US than it is to just book from LHR.


Not just for J-fares. It has to do with the fact that the UK has an APD while the Netherlands doesn't. At least, not yet. There are plans for it, but that's off-topic for this discussion.

Anyway, passengers transfering in the UK don't pay APD. Only passengers starting their journey in the UK pay APD. How much depends on the distance they travel. In this case you only fly from London to Amsterdam, which is a very short distance so you pay very little APD. Then you start a new journey in Amsterdam, which is APD free because the Netherlands doesn't have APD.

I even heard a story of one guy who flew Norwegian from London Gatwick to New York JFK. He compared fares for just Gatwick - JFK and Copenhagen - Gatwick - JFK and the latter appeared to be significantly cheaper. The difference was the APD since Denmark doesn't have APD either. He booked Copenhagen - Gatwick - JFK, but he never went to Copenhagen. He skipped the first leg and just showed up at Gatwick for his flight to JFK and got away with it. They just let him check-in and board the flight.

Another thing is that a lot of hubs charge different fees for departing passengers and transfer passengers. Transfer passengers pay a significantly lower fee, so people always try to be a transfer passenger even if they aren't. For example lots of people from the Netherlands flying from Amsterdam so-called start their journey in Brussels and transfer in Amsterdam. The "flight" from Brussels to Amsterdam is done by train. Lately I've seen an example, a family of five (two parents, three children). The father went to Brussels to check them in and then returned by train to Amsterdam. There he was met by his wife and kids to take the flight. This has saved them a few hundred euros over starting their journey in Amsterdam.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:35 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
I even heard a story of one guy who flew Norwegian from London Gatwick to New York JFK. He compared fares for just Gatwick - JFK and Copenhagen - Gatwick - JFK and the latter appeared to be significantly cheaper. The difference was the APD since Denmark doesn't have APD either. He booked Copenhagen - Gatwick - JFK, but he never went to Copenhagen. He skipped the first leg and just showed up at Gatwick for his flight to JFK and got away with it. They just let him check-in and board the flight.

Another thing is that a lot of hubs charge different fees for departing passengers and transfer passengers. Transfer passengers pay a significantly lower fee, so people always try to be a transfer passenger even if they aren't. For example lots of people from the Netherlands flying from Amsterdam so-called start their journey in Brussels and transfer in Amsterdam. The "flight" from Brussels to Amsterdam is done by train. Lately I've seen an example, a family of five (two parents, three children). The father went to Brussels to check them in and then returned by train to Amsterdam. There he was met by his wife and kids to take the flight. This has saved them a few hundred euros over starting their journey in Amsterdam.


Joe Brancatelli's Coke story is never too old, even it's twenty years since he wrote it. It's really immortal, IMHO:

http://joe.biztravelife.com/97/090897.htm
AN4 A40 L4T TU3 TU5 IL6 ILW I93 F50 F70 100 146 ARJ AT7 DH4 L10 CRJ ERJ E90 E95 DC-9 MD-8X YK4 YK2 SF3 S20 319 320 321 332 333 343 346 722 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 744 74M 757 767 777
Ceterum autem censeo, Moscovia esse delendam
 
dr1980
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:55 pm

I flew YHZ-LAX return on AC via YUL for CDN$300 return about 7 years ago. Out of curiosity I tried booking a YHZ-YUL return flight using the same connecting flights and it was around $600. Go figure.
Dave/CYHZ
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:41 pm

Phosphorus wrote:
Joe Brancatelli's Coke story is never too old, even it's twenty years since he wrote it. It's really immortal, IMHO:

http://joe.biztravelife.com/97/090897.htm


Very true, and that's probably the reason Norwegian didn't make a fuss of that guy only flying one leg of a two-leg booking. If other airlines do make a fuss and they don't, that customer will pick them again next time. Just like the guy buying a bottle of coke will next time again will buy that cheaper 2-liter bottle if he only needs one liter, so the company that produces the cheap 2-liter bottles has hooked him as a customer.

Usually however it's not profitable to book a hidden city on Norwegian since they charge per leg plus a transfer fee. The only reason it was cheaper in this case is the difference between APD from Gatwick and no APD from Copenhagen.
 
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Gonzalo
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:35 am

Phosphorus wrote:
PatrickZ80 wrote:
I even heard a story of one guy who flew Norwegian from London Gatwick to New York JFK. He compared fares for just Gatwick - JFK and Copenhagen - Gatwick - JFK and the latter appeared to be significantly cheaper. The difference was the APD since Denmark doesn't have APD either. He booked Copenhagen - Gatwick - JFK, but he never went to Copenhagen. He skipped the first leg and just showed up at Gatwick for his flight to JFK and got away with it. They just let him check-in and board the flight.

Another thing is that a lot of hubs charge different fees for departing passengers and transfer passengers. Transfer passengers pay a significantly lower fee, so people always try to be a transfer passenger even if they aren't. For example lots of people from the Netherlands flying from Amsterdam so-called start their journey in Brussels and transfer in Amsterdam. The "flight" from Brussels to Amsterdam is done by train. Lately I've seen an example, a family of five (two parents, three children). The father went to Brussels to check them in and then returned by train to Amsterdam. There he was met by his wife and kids to take the flight. This has saved them a few hundred euros over starting their journey in Amsterdam.


Joe Brancatelli's Coke story is never too old, even it's twenty years since he wrote it. It's really immortal, IMHO:

http://joe.biztravelife.com/97/090897.htm



A true gem. Thanks for sharing !!!

Rgds.
G.
Gear Up!!: DC-3 / EMB-110 / FH-227 / A318-19-20-21 / B732 / B763 / B789 / B788 / A343 / ATR72-600
 
santi319
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:04 am

N776AU wrote:
santi319 wrote:
This is why everyone should be using skiplagged, that way the airlines will learn their lesson on not taking advantage of people.

I love Skiplagged. I wasn't a fan, though, of getting a nice letter in the mail from Delta telling me to cut it out.

Skiplagged can seriously get you last minute Translatlantic flights for less than $400 one way in the summer on a major.
 
VC10er
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:48 am

UpNAWAy wrote:
Non Stops are obviously more desirable and more expensive. As hard as it is for people to understand airfares are not priced by distance but by markets and DFW-Anywhere is not the same market as AUS-DFW-Anywhere.


Are nonstops more than one-stops? I fly EWR-MIA 6x a year or more. I also always buy the lowest F fare.

Depending on the season there are roughly 5 nonstops throughout the day, at about $800/$1000 RT (sometimes more depending on day and time) then the UA website lists flights with 1 stop after the nonstops: EWR> IAH, ORD (DEN?)> MIA. ALL of the flights that are much longer because of the stop (ex: EWR-IAH-MIA) leap to $1400 to $1900? I’ve even seen them break the $2000 mark albeit rarely.
EWR to MIA with a stop are often, on average $500 to $1000 more?
(Sometimes I notice that the IAH or ORD will be operated by a WB, they don’t charge more for a bed seat, do they? mostly just another 737-8/900 or A320, yet still the enormous up charge) is it the “hub to hub” factor?
Thanks
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
VC10er
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:51 am

Please explain “skiplagged”? And is it something I could do on UA from EWR to Europe?
THANKS ZILLIONS!
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:17 am

VC10er wrote:
Please explain “skiplagged”? And is it something I could do on UA from EWR to Europe?
THANKS ZILLIONS!

https://skiplagged.com/
just choose your city pair and schedule
It looks like another booking engine, but is capable of sifting through all those "hidden city pair" and other options that airlines hate.
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XAM2175
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:57 pm

VC10er wrote:
Please explain “skiplagged”? And is it something I could do on UA from EWR to Europe?


Before you get too carried away, it's worth noting that the savings Skiplagged helps you find are through a process known as "throwaway" or "hidden-city ticketing", where you deliberately book sectors that you don't intend to fly - such as booking a return flight that's cheaper than a one-way, or a connecting flight AAA-BBB-CCC where you only want to go to BBB but adding the leg to CCC makes it cheaper.

While you can make some fantastic savings, as some posters have already noted, it's technically prohibited by most airlines - UA being one of them:
J. Prohibited Practices:
    1. Fares apply for travel only between the points for which they are published. Tickets may not be purchased and used at fare(s) from an initial departure point on the Ticket which is before the Passenger’s actual point of origin of travel, or to a more distant point(s) than the Passenger’s actual destination being traveled even when the purchase and use of such Tickets would produce a lower fare. This practice is known as “Hidden Cities Ticketing” or “Point Beyond Ticketing” and is prohibited by UA.

Additionally, it can also lead you to break actual laws - booking a hidden-city itinerary with a transit through Australia or the UK, for example, and abandoning your onward international flight will mean you've evaded paying certain taxes levied on terminating passengers.
 
ChrisKen
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:22 pm

Skipplagged is also pretty useless. Just done a random search on a flight that costs me £88 rtn and takes 3 hrs 50 mins direct. Skipplagged whats to give me a bargain £163 journey that'll take 29 HOURS!
 
B747forever
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:13 pm

I try to be careful with using hidden city as it is prohibited by the airlines. I just use it a handful of times each year spread across different carriers. While it can be risky, the savings are quite substantial, so worth it. A few weeks ago I needed to book a last minute LAX-EWR ticket . While the nonstop was priced $495, the same LAX-EWR flight with a connection onwards to BUF was priced at $280. With no bags to check in, I went with the LAX-EWR-BUF ticket and got of at EWR.
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
cofannyc
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:16 pm

AA777223 wrote:
I booked an interesting itinerary. It seems fitting as those of us here in IAH seem to be popping up quite regularly on this thread already. UA really likes to take advantage of their captive market here.

I planned a trip to Australia and New Zealand with a buddy of mine a year or so ago. I booked the whole trip through UA on the (then) relatively new non-stop IAH-AKL. I booked the trip in paid J, IAH-AKL-SYD-LAX-IAH. The trip was roughly $5,500 for all legs, which considering the relatively direct routing and popularity of Oceania as a tourist destination, I thought was relatively reasonable. At the time, it was tough to find roundtrip J fares to Oceamia out of IAH flor less than $7K. I took the opportunity and jumped on the rate.

I called to try to reproduce the booking without the AKL-SYD leg, and the cost jumped up over $500. It seems that the going rate for a lie flat, business class fare on a NZ 772 for a 3 hour flight is -$500! I wonder if I found a little bit of a pricing glitch in the system, because when I called to see about reproducing the booking for another friend who was interested in going along, it seems that UA instituted new pricing rules on the route a week after I booked my flight. The combo of fare classes I received now required a minimum two week stay over. Guess I just got lucky!


I doubt you found a glitch...just timing. Fare rules change all the time so no surprises there.

As to why dropping AKL-SYD added $500...

Your original itinerary would have likely been priced as a Houston-Sydney round trip. By dropping AKL-SYD, it now would be priced as half a Houston to Auckland and half a Sydney to Houston (in addition to any inventory changes as a result of the change and married segment logic and whatnot).
 
JPhoto
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:22 pm

B747forever wrote:
I try to be careful with using hidden city as it is prohibited by the airlines. I just use it a handful of times each year spread across different carriers. While it can be risky, the savings are quite substantial, so worth it. A few weeks ago I needed to book a last minute LAX-EWR ticket . While the nonstop was priced $495, the same LAX-EWR flight with a connection onwards to BUF was priced at $280. With no bags to check in, I went with the LAX-EWR-BUF ticket and got of at EWR.


Just out of curiosity, what would you have done when you had to check your carry on luggage in case of a full flight? They would have sent your bag to BUF I assume.
PDX-AMS
 
B747forever
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:30 am

JPhoto wrote:
B747forever wrote:
I try to be careful with using hidden city as it is prohibited by the airlines. I just use it a handful of times each year spread across different carriers. While it can be risky, the savings are quite substantial, so worth it. A few weeks ago I needed to book a last minute LAX-EWR ticket . While the nonstop was priced $495, the same LAX-EWR flight with a connection onwards to BUF was priced at $280. With no bags to check in, I went with the LAX-EWR-BUF ticket and got of at EWR.


Just out of curiosity, what would you have done when you had to check your carry on luggage in case of a full flight? They would have sent your bag to BUF I assume.


I am Star Gold and Oneworld Sapphire, so always get priority boarding and don’t have to worry about space for my carry on.

In case I need to check in bags, I have still been able to get cheaper tickets with hidden city by either forcing a overnight connection or really long connection. In such cases you can short check the bag. Have done this several times in the past, especially when returning home from Hawaii by buying OGG-LAX-XXX (mostly SAN/SJC/SMF), and even on international routes LAX-NRT-LAX-(over night connection) - SAN.
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
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AA777223
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:43 pm

cofannyc wrote:
AA777223 wrote:
I booked an interesting itinerary. It seems fitting as those of us here in IAH seem to be popping up quite regularly on this thread already. UA really likes to take advantage of their captive market here.

I planned a trip to Australia and New Zealand with a buddy of mine a year or so ago. I booked the whole trip through UA on the (then) relatively new non-stop IAH-AKL. I booked the trip in paid J, IAH-AKL-SYD-LAX-IAH. The trip was roughly $5,500 for all legs, which considering the relatively direct routing and popularity of Oceania as a tourist destination, I thought was relatively reasonable. At the time, it was tough to find roundtrip J fares to Oceamia out of IAH flor less than $7K. I took the opportunity and jumped on the rate.

I called to try to reproduce the booking without the AKL-SYD leg, and the cost jumped up over $500. It seems that the going rate for a lie flat, business class fare on a NZ 772 for a 3 hour flight is -$500! I wonder if I found a little bit of a pricing glitch in the system, because when I called to see about reproducing the booking for another friend who was interested in going along, it seems that UA instituted new pricing rules on the route a week after I booked my flight. The combo of fare classes I received now required a minimum two week stay over. Guess I just got lucky!


I doubt you found a glitch...just timing. Fare rules change all the time so no surprises there.

As to why dropping AKL-SYD added $500...

Your original itinerary would have likely been priced as a Houston-Sydney round trip. By dropping AKL-SYD, it now would be priced as half a Houston to Auckland and half a Sydney to Houston (in addition to any inventory changes as a result of the change and married segment logic and whatnot).

I spent 5 days in Auckland. I wasn't flying IAH-AKL-SYD spending my vacay and then flying SYD-LAX-IAH. So, I really think with a stay over of 5 days in both cities, it was booked as three segments. As to the pricing, I agree. I don't necessarily think it was a "glitch" either. That was a poor choice of words on my part. I think I just got lucky finding a good time from a revenue management perspective.
A318/19/20/21, A300, A332/3, A343/6, A388, L1011, DC-9, DC-10, MD-11, MD-80, B722, B732/3/4/5/7/8/9, B743/4/4M, B752/3, B762/3/4, B772/E/W, B788/9, F-100, CRJ-200/700/900, ERJ-135/145/175/190, DH-8, ATR-72, DO-328, BAE-146
 
cofannyc
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:47 pm

AA777223 wrote:
I spent 5 days in Auckland. I wasn't flying IAH-AKL-SYD spending my vacay and then flying SYD-LAX-IAH. So, I really think with a stay over of 5 days in both cities, it was booked as three segments. As to the pricing, I agree. I don't necessarily think it was a "glitch" either. That was a poor choice of words on my part. I think I just got lucky finding a good time from a revenue management perspective.


Pricing is silly complicated sometimes. Even though you were stopping in Auckland, I still suspect it priced as a Houston-Sydney round trip with a stopover in Auckland just because of how the price jumps when you try and drop AKL-SYD. It can be a non-intuitive system!
 
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XAM2175
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:08 pm

cofannyc wrote:
AA777223 wrote:
I spent 5 days in Auckland. I wasn't flying IAH-AKL-SYD spending my vacay and then flying SYD-LAX-IAH. So, I really think with a stay over of 5 days in both cities, it was booked as three segments. ...


Pricing is silly complicated sometimes. Even though you were stopping in Auckland, I still suspect it priced as a Houston-Sydney round trip with a stopover in Auckland just because of how the price jumps when you try and drop AKL-SYD. It can be a non-intuitive system!


It's hard to know exactly without seeing the exact fare rules but as [i]cofannyc[i] suggests, it's likely that your fare was priced as IAH-(x)-SYD and return, even though your AKL stop-over was far longer than a normal connection.

You'll end up encountering all sorts of arcane rules as part of the fare policy - things like "married segments" that price connecting itineraries as though they were direct flights, "advance purchase windows" that remove fares from sale at a certain point before departure regardless of seats remaining free, and "minimum stay times" that require you to spend a certain amount of time at a transit point to prevent the segments being married, or at your destination on the basis that people who go somewhere for one or two nights only must surely be business travellers who care less about the price.

So when you tried to price the itinerary without the AKL-SYD leg it almost certainly treated it as a one-way IAH-AKL and a one-way SYD-IAH (the connection through LAX being short enough to marry the segments), which is a very different opportunity market for the revenue managers.
 
Kno
Posts: 359
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:08 pm

Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:31 pm

santi319 wrote:
This is why everyone should be using skiplagged, that way the airlines will learn their lesson on not taking advantage of people.


I've been wanting to try skiplagged but I am nervous about a few things

- Airlines flagging me and treating me poorly in the future if I need their help in some IRROPS situation during travel
- If I no show for the last leg of the flight on the way and don't speak up about it wont they cancel my return ticket?
- What the hell do I do if they force me to check my bag, it happens from time to time?
- Worst case the airline straight up bans me.

Can anyone speak to this?
 
VC10er
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Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:22 pm

So, this Skiplagging or hidden city thing would not be possible on united.com?
I’ve sometimes looked into flying to “near SF/LA” cities. On UA.com its cheaper to go through IAH or DEN in F on 737’s the whole way, the options to go EWR-LAX/SFO-XXX are painfully higher priced even if LAX/SFO was not my final destination (Eg; San Diego, Sacramento, Palm Springs, etc)
But I am looking a F fares!
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
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XAM2175
Posts: 1156
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:25 pm

Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:30 pm

VC10er wrote:
So, this Skiplagging or hidden city thing would not be possible on united.com?


'Course it's possible - the whole point is that they look like perfectly-normal bookings right up until the point you no-show for the last leg. "Skiplagged" is just a website that helps you find hidden-city routeings without having to manually check city after city after city.
 
cofannyc
Posts: 267
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:22 am

Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:44 am

Kno wrote:
santi319 wrote:
This is why everyone should be using skiplagged, that way the airlines will learn their lesson on not taking advantage of people.


I've been wanting to try skiplagged but I am nervous about a few things

- Airlines flagging me and treating me poorly in the future if I need their help in some IRROPS situation during travel
- If I no show for the last leg of the flight on the way and don't speak up about it wont they cancel my return ticket?
- What the hell do I do if they force me to check my bag, it happens from time to time?
- Worst case the airline straight up bans me.

Can anyone speak to this?


In order...

* If you do it enough on the same airline, you will certainly become known to them
* That will happen. Book two one ways to avoid.
* Try and convince them you need the bag at the connecting point but it's a risk (same as the risk that there are irrops and they send you straight to the ticketed destination)
* Again, if you do it enough to one airline, it can happen
 
BAINY3
Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:42 pm

Re: Amusing Airfare Anomalies

Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:38 am

I know nonstops are in higher demand but this summer it was particularly egregious:

Needed to fly MSP-AMS r/t in June for a ten-day stay. Wanted one of many DL/KL nonstops but the cheapest I ever saw them was $900 way back in December when I didn't have the money saved up yet, and I also figured it would be cheaper about four months out. Was even willing to pay somewhat of a premium for a non-stop, like up to $300 more. Well, come February they wanted $1200 and this never went down from that. Icelandair or Condor/LH are usually the discount options to Europe, often with fares around $700 or so. But I wound up paying just $490 for UA/AC, one-stop each way, and those weren't even basic economy fares. Go figure the cheapest option wound up being a competing legacy carrier at less than half of what Delta wanted!

I guess that's life in Minneapolis for you...

In other words:
- MSP-AMS-MSP on DL/KL: $1200
- MSP-YYZ-AMS-ORD-MSP on AC/UA: $490

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