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Odd BMI Pricing

Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:13 am

I was looking to book my flights to Beirut this year and noticed that BMI has a sale on at the
moment (great news as the flights always seem to be sky high!) and I noticed a peculiar
pricing strategy. . .

I live in Brighton so flying from Heathrow is very convenient for me but BMI are selling
Manchester - London - Beirut - London - Manchester cheaper than just taking the
London-Beirut- London portion? How can this be? A London- Manchester return is usually
atleast £65 all in.

I'm very confused and feeling a bit swizzled! Anybody offer any explanation? Thanks
- Alec
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:34 pm

RE: Odd BMI Pricing

Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:19 am

This just means that they feel they need to strengthen tehir position in Manchester. Ticket prizes today are determined by experts and programs that are optimized to maximize the income of a company - and have nothing to do with the costs of the individual product.
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RE: Odd BMI Pricing

Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:51 pm

True, many airlines do this btw. I always sold tickets to clients who needed to go to longhaul from AMS on KLM like this : BRU-AMS-IAH for example. Business class fares were sometimes 30% cheaper. The BRU-AMS was operated by train, so you could just start the journey in AMS.

A few years ago KLM banned this and found something to make it impossible, can't remember what though.
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RE: Odd BMI Pricing

Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:55 pm

BA do it too. MXP-LHR-PVG and return is almost half the price of LHR-PVG return
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RE: Odd BMI Pricing

Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:33 pm

This is pretty common in the US where airlines can charge a premium from their hub cities, but must match other airlines from the spokes. An example would be almost anywhere-DFW-LGA is cheaper than just DFW-LGA on AA.
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RE: Odd BMI Pricing

Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:28 pm

At LHR, they have little competition when it comes to nonstop flights to Beirut. At MAN, they have competition from literally every European airline that serves Beirut as they compete on the 1-stop-market. More competition, lower prices.
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RE: Odd BMI Pricing

Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:31 pm

This is a way of filling what otherwise would be empty seats without weakening the yield from the airline's core business. So, for example, fly LHR-CDG-JFK with AF and you will probably be charged less than flying CDG-JFK when your ticket is booked on the same day on the same flight. Similarly flying BA CDG-LHR-JFK is likely to be cheaper than flying LHR-JFK again on the same flight.

However it is probable that an airline will be somewhat selective in the flights for which it makes these lower priced offers as it will be filling up what would otherwise be empty seats on both flights. So if you consider BA again, it operates some early morning short haul flights with 763s because of high passenger demand at that time of day. But the aircraft returns to LHR from, for example, FRA in mid to late morning when demand is much lower. So otherwise empty seats can be filled on the return 763 flight by offering a very competitive fare to one or more long haul destinations that includes the 763 FRA-LHR flight and a conveniently timed LHR transfer.
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RE: Odd BMI Pricing

Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:44 pm

Quoting DLD9S (Reply 4):
This is pretty common in the US

The trick is keeping the second leg from being cancelled if you do not show up for the first leg. That gets rather hard to do when the first leg is a longer flight and the airlines watch this like a hawk.
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