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Harshil9
Topic Author
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 8:19 am

BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:32 am

Hi was speaking to my dad who wants to fly from LHR to ACC for a few days in late October. I as well as his company were looking at flights which involved flying out on a Tuesday and coming back on a Saturday. The cost of this in economy was £2.5k.

Change the dates so he flies back on a Sunday and it drops to a reasonable £500.

My dad then said when he flew for business to and from Asia with BA 20 years back his travel agent said for him to always include a Saturday night or the fare would be much higher. We emailed our friend who is a travel agent today and he stated the same thing saying a return journey that doesn't include a Saturday in between is much higher than if it does.

Anyone else have info about this and why BA do this? Do other airlines do this as well?
 
konkret
Posts: 351
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:26 pm

Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:43 am

Yes, other airlines do it as well. A trip which doesn’t include a Saturday night is most often a business trip so airlines can get away with higher prices.
 
ChrisKen
Posts: 1060
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:15 pm

Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:50 am

Travelling on a Tuesday or a Thursday and including a Saturday night is often the cheapest way. This is the least 'business' like profile and thus the fares are cheaper. Been fairly standard practice in the UK certainly since the 60/70s, probably stacks up in other places around the globe too. Even LoCo's generally subscribe to it.
 
klm672
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 1999 6:09 am

Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:17 am

Correct.
 
jumpjets
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Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:29 am

I don't think the difference is as marked these days as it used to be - especially for short haul flights (Although the OPs example seems to question that observation). Back in the day when I travelled for work if I was scheduled to come home on Friday I'd often stay over until Sunday if it was a place I fancied looking around. Invariably the cost of the flight and two nights hotel would often be still less than the cost of a flight returning on Friday night.
 
konkret
Posts: 351
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:26 pm

Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:44 am

jumpjets wrote:
I don't think the difference is as marked these days as it used to be - especially for short haul flights (Although the OPs example seems to question that observation). Back in the day when I travelled for work if I was scheduled to come home on Friday I'd often stay over until Sunday if it was a place I fancied looking around. Invariably the cost of the flight and two nights hotel would often be still less than the cost of a flight returning on Friday night.


Do you consider LHR-ACC short haul?
 
TC957
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 1:12 pm

Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:45 am

BA's European flights generally don't have this fares rule as much as in years gone past due to the competition from LCC's who have never had this restriction. But since LCC's don't operate to places like ACC BA and others get away with fleecing business passengers with this Saturday night stay rule.
 
ASchembri
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:04 pm

Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:55 am

Years ago when i was in the trade, we used to by-pass the issue of a Saturday night stay for short frequent business trips by booking back-to-back apex tickets. Lon-Ams-Lon & Ams-Lon-Ams on two separate tickets for example
 
asuflyer
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Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 12:48 pm

Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:58 am

VS ended ACC, Ghana Airways is long gone, I think there you have it. BA is alone on the route and there are people willing to pay to fly direct vs stop in IST or BRU. LHR-ACC is a mix of VFR and business travelers.
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:00 am

Twenty years ago when low cost carriers in Europe were relatively small, all the big airlines (eg BA or Air France) would charge very high prices for a return flight within Europe without a Saturday night. Eventually low cost carriers like Easyjet / Ryanair which did not have a Saturday night rule became very large and the big airlines realised how much business they were losing to competitors. Thus for flying short haul within Europe, virtually all airlines have given up the Saturday night price gouging.

London-Ghana is a completely different story - there is no competition from low cost carriers. If price is important, you might want to think about flying via a transit airport or putting together an itinerary with two airlines. Have a look at maybe Air Italy who fly Milan-Accra (you need to arrange London-Milan separately) or try looking at flying London-Accra via Casablanca with Royal Air Maroc
 
TC957
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 1:12 pm

Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:01 am

ASchembri wrote:
Years ago when i was in the trade, we used to by-pass the issue of a Saturday night stay for short frequent business trips by booking back-to-back apex tickets. Lon-Ams-Lon & Ams-Lon-Ams on two separate tickets for example

New sophisticated airline revenue protection technology spots these kind of fare abuses and guilty agents will find themselves with ADM's ( airline debit memo's ) landing on their doorstep.
Not advisable anymore !
 
LHRApproach
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:02 pm

Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:08 am

Continental were doing this 10 years ago for flights out of London. Fares would drop from £1200 to £400 return. A good excuse for Saturday night in New York and my employer was happy to pick up the extra hotel nights etc.
 
dibble777
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:22 pm

Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:10 am

Many years ago - more than I'd like to remember! there were fare construction principles allowed that were called fictitious points and more distant points. This allowed the fare agent to construct a fare to a fictitious point that wasn't actually on the itinerary but it produced a lower fare than constructing it on the actual itinerary.

Those were the days! It was easier then with paper tickets than the current e-tickets and modern sophisticated computerised fares systems with built in preventions to fraud.

Then throw away coupons were common practise to get around Saturday night restrictions by using the back to back ticket explained above, but now most systems will cancel the whole itinerary if some flights are not utilised.

Spoil sports!
 
Cory6188
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Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:14 am

This is eye-poppingly true for TATL flights from the US. Take a look at EWR/JFK-LHR for a midweek trip versus one including a Saturday night stay. Even in Y, the fare difference can easily be $1500+. As noted above, it's all about how price inelastic business versus leisure travelers are - but I'm still amazed the difference can be as significant as it is.
 
nikeherc
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Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:33 am

ASchembri wrote:
Years ago when i was in the trade, we used to by-pass the issue of a Saturday night stay for short frequent business trips by booking back-to-back apex tickets. Lon-Ams-Lon & Ams-Lon-Ams on two separate tickets for example


Back in the day when I used to travel a lot, this was a violation of the contract of carriage. My employer, who had a captive travel agency, notified employees that they were not to do this, as it was against the rules. They prohibited they travel department from making such bookings.
DC6 to 777 and most things in between
 
jumpjets
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:17 pm

Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:40 pm

konkret wrote:
jumpjets wrote:
I don't think the difference is as marked these days as it used to be - especially for short haul flights (Although the OPs example seems to question that observation). Back in the day when I travelled for work if I was scheduled to come home on Friday I'd often stay over until Sunday if it was a place I fancied looking around. Invariably the cost of the flight and two nights hotel would often be still less than the cost of a flight returning on Friday night.


Do you consider LHR-ACC short haul?


Well at roughly 6hrs 30 mins block time its not exactly longhaul - but my comment was not meant to be construed to mean LHR-ACC was shorthaul.
 
zappomatic
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2018 11:22 pm

Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:43 pm

Try booking a flight+car or flight+hotel (even if you won't use it) as this turns the booking into a "holiday" and sometimes circumvents the Saturday night requirement.
 
flipdewaf
Posts: 4096
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:28 am

Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:53 pm

I'm flying LHR-EVV in decmeber and it is £1600+ for leaving Monday and returning on the friday for business. I am taking my whole little family (Me, my wife and a 2 yr old) to florida to see friends in January for a week and it is £750 all in. I am tempted to ask work if I can take family with me and stay for a week to make it cheaper but I'm sure there are tax rules somewhere. It is the same every time I book tix across the Atlantic.

Fred
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Harshil9
Topic Author
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 8:19 am

Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:24 pm

Thanks for the insight. My dad has just chosen to stay and fly out on the Sunday evening departure. Luckily he's almost retired at this point and doesn't really need to be back in London all rested for Monday morning and has friends in Ghana to keep him busy on Sunday.

Interesting to see how big the fare difference is though. £2500 vs £500 in economy and like £4600 vs £800 in premium economy.

Will definitely keep an eye out for this Saturday rule now I know of its existence. I was personally also looking for short haul European flights in November for a short holiday to Poland and also saw weird discrepancies in flights where flying a day earlier or later was doubling the price £40 Vs £80. Wonder why that is too...
 
zrs70
Posts: 3785
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 4:08 am

Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:57 pm

TC957 wrote:
ASchembri wrote:
Years ago when i was in the trade, we used to by-pass the issue of a Saturday night stay for short frequent business trips by booking back-to-back apex tickets. Lon-Ams-Lon & Ams-Lon-Ams on two separate tickets for example

New sophisticated airline revenue protection technology spots these kind of fare abuses and guilty agents will find themselves with ADM's ( airline debit memo's ) landing on their doorstep.
Not advisable anymore !


What I would do, and this was perfectly legit, was purchase a one way fare a-b, then a series of round trips b-a-b.
21 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2021
 
User avatar
vhtje
Posts: 1300
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Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:49 pm

This always happens. I travel to California frequently for business. My employer is happy for me to book an hotel for an extra two nights (Friday and Saturday) as the additional hotel cost is always far less than the increased fare for not staying a Saturday.
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
PlymSpotter
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Re: BA return flights - need to include a Saturday night or else prices are very expensive

Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:35 pm

On a related note, it would not surprise me at all if easyJet launch services to West Africa in the next few years.

IIRC their current longest sector is TLV-MAN, at 2,355 miles. Dakar, Banjul, Accra, Abuja and Lagos range from 2,684 to 3,137 miles from LGW and a little less from CDG, MXP etc... They already night-stop crew in various destinations, with thin competition the achievable yields have the potential to be very interesting A321NEO routes.
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...

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