N415XJ
Topic Author
Posts: 878
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:04 pm

Massive price discrepancy between US and DL- why?

Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:55 pm

I recently relocated from the Detroit area to the DC area. In the interest of getting tickets as cheap as possible with as few legs as possible, I'm planning on changing my airline loyalty from DL/Skyteam to UA/Star out of IAD. My main requirement is the availability of good one-stop service to Beirut with an itinerary completely on mileage-earning partners. I decided against AA/OneWorld as I was less than impressed with BA when I flew them IAD-LHR-BEY a few weeks ago, and flying out of DCA isn't ideal for me.

Although I've settled on UA/Star, I've always loved DL's onboard product and the SkyMiles program, and if it were up to me I'd be sticking with DL. However, prices from DC-BEY are much, much lower on UA, and I'd like to avoid having to fly DC-DL Hub-Other Hub-BEY. As an experiment, though, I recently tried a dummy booking from DTW-BEY (ignoring DC completely) on DL/AF to compare it to IAD-BEY on UA/LH. I selected the same dates, DEC 19- JAN 2 2020, and the booking was made on their respective websites.

The results were honestly shocking. A one stop on UA, connecting to MEA in FRA, was $927. Connecting onto LH is $1,195. However, on DL, the CHEAPEST economy fare (again, same date, DTW-JFK-CDG-BEY), is $5,881! That's over $1000 more expensive than Business on UA/Star IAD-FRA-BEY or IAD-EWR-FRA-BEY! Now, if an economy ticket from DTW-BEY were, say, $2000 or even $3000 compared to $1000 on UA IAD-BEY, I guess I could understand that price difference. However, why on earth is DL so much more expensive on a similar routing? Is it really just due to competition in the DC/East Coast area vs DTW? Am I setting up something wrong in my search? DL from WAS-BEY isn't that much better, which prices all at around $5100.

I mean, DL is better in economy TATL than UA in my opinion, but not good enough that I'd be willing to spend $4000 more on a ticket. Keep in mind that I'm not trying to denigrate UA or DL here, I'm just genuinely perplexed by why the difference is so great.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
Posts: 762
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: Massive price discrepancy between US and DL- why?

Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:09 pm

For a moment I thought you had found an airlines called US Airways that was still flying!!

Did you try AF or KL in searches? Perhaps they will be better than DL's website.
 
raffy
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:56 pm

Re: Massive price discrepancy between US and DL- why?

Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:11 pm

Delta partners with Air France, and you can get round trip fares to Beirut with AF in the same ballpark as UA. Granted, you would not be flying a Delta airplane, but you should be able to at least get the Sky Miles. I didn't notice a whole lot of difference between AF and DL on a recent trip I took to India through CDG last February. The AF flight from ATL to CDG had excellent food with so so seating, and the return from CDG to ATL on a Delta plane had so so seating and so so food (nothing bad, but not great either). Both flights from CDG to DEL and back were on AF and were so so (not as good as the ATL to CDG flight). It appears that AF flies A380's at least some of the time from IAD to CDG - not sure if that is good or not as I've never flown on an A380.
 
L410Turbolet
Posts: 6060
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 9:12 am

Re: Massive price discrepancy between US and DL- why?

Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:39 pm

The last thing you want to experience is connecting at CDG.
 
mdavies06
Posts: 523
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:28 pm

Re: Massive price discrepancy between US and DL- why?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:27 am

$5,881 is most certainly down to some form of inventory management issues. Try again in a few weeks time. If there is an abnormal genuine surge in demand so many months out as illustrated by this price increase, you can be sure that DL or AF will upgauge the aircraft on whatever leg that is already sold out today in July. However, just to cover off a small point, are you looking at one-way or return? Different airlines have different pricings between those.
 
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RyanairGuru
Posts: 7768
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

Re: Massive price discrepancy between US and DL- why?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:38 pm

$5,000+ definitely sounds like a Y fare. Either DL don't have fares loaded for DTW-BEY (which seems unlikely) or they had been temporarily withdrawn from sale (which can be for any manner of reasons). Check again a few days later.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
RJNUT
Posts: 1768
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 1:58 am

Re: Massive price discrepancy between US and DL- why?

Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:46 pm

The dates selected are likely the MOST sought after dates of the entire holiday season. Discounted fares will be offered at a minimum The $5,000 fare tells me something along the way is nearly sold out.
 
DTWLAX
Posts: 910
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:19 pm

Re: Massive price discrepancy between US and DL- why?

Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:12 pm

L410Turbolet wrote:
The last thing you want to experience is connecting at CDG.

Nothing wrong with connecting at CDG if you are flying/connecting international (non-Schengen) on DL and AF. All connections will likely be in 2E.

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