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Airline economics

Travel Forums General Talk Airline economics

1. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5597 posts) 6y

Ok, let's talk about the strange things you discover when searching for airline tickets.

Now, I know it's a bit of hard topic sometimes to really understand in my opinion, but I like it.
The fact that sometimes (mostly?) one-way tickets are just as expensive or even more expensive than roundtrip tickets is something I know by now. (doesn't apply to lowcost airlines by the way).

But this one was very interesting to me:
A return ticket Madrid - Sao Paulo with Iberia was around 1300 euro (Christmas period...too expensive, but anyway).
Then on the same Iberia website I tried to book Amsterdam - Sao Paulo with a stop in Madrid. Price: 900 euro! Same day, same flights from Madrid.

I am curious what some specialists here think of that. Keeps boggling me

2. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 6y

Big deep breath now..........
Non-stop, or direct flights (there is a difference) are nearly always dearer than ones involving connections on long haul schedules, with the same airline.
A perfect example is.. Lufthansa, Frankfurt - Sydney on June 15 was €665 one way.
However, Manchester - Sydney via Frankfurt (both flights with Lufthansa - and on the same day, at the same time from Frankfurt) was €60 cheaper. And of course, it would be possible to arrange a stop-over in Frankfurt en-route at no extra cost. The reason for the cheaper fares is very straightforward.. People will always be prepared to pay more for the most direct and quickest route. And the ones that fly the least, are the most unaware of the options available and usually think that the most direct route is the cheapest - even though it is 99% of the time, the most expensive.
Is that any clearer?
It works for budget airlines as well.
Eg, splitting a ticket from the UK to Egypt, is often cheaper than flying non-stop wirth the same airline, although it is doing different flights, whereas the example you raise involves the same airline from the same airport at the same time on the same day.
Thats probably totally confused you now - and I bet you wish you never asked.

3. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5597 posts) 6y

Thanks flyingbob.
Well, I knew about the direct flights (or non-stop for that matter) are more expensive in general, but I found this difference rather striking. Even for people in Spain, it would pay to buy a cheap flight with a budget airline to Amsterdam and then take the flight with a stop in Madrid to Sao Paulo lol.
Still, for the flight I am probably going to book (Amsterdam to Sao Paulo that is) the cheapest in fact for the Christmas period is the direct flight with KLM. Although only for specific dates, sometimes others are cheaper but mostly it's KLM.

By the way, I think most budget airlines have direct flights and even if flying with them on two legs, you need to clear luggage. Probably not always, but most of them do.


4. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 6y

Yes, direct flights with budget airlines are always quicker - but indirect flights of two (or sometimes even 3) legs with the same airline can work out much cheaper.
As for baggage en-route with a budget airline, they'll rarely - if ever, check your bags through if you're doing two or more legs with them - as they are all point to point and not connecting. However, Im sure if you asked them in advance if they would - for a fee, you might find that they will oblige, as all you need generally is a tag with the destination and changing hub printed and bar-coded on it. Any check-in desk can issue that sort of tag - and on most occasions, the check-in will be an agent rather than the airline direct.

5. Posted by Hcoi (Budding Member 9 posts) 6y

Here is also what I want to ask...

I'm gonna travel from Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam (SGN) to Madison, WI, USA (MSN) in the middle of August.
In fact, I can flight from Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) because most of international flights from Vietnam must stop-over in Thailand or Malaysia.

I will go there to study in University of Wisconsin, and just want to buy 1 way ticket.
If I bought from now on Delta airline website, it costs about $1,400.
And if I booked from a travel agency, it would be about $1,800.

Have you guys had any experience in buying one way ticket with cheaper price? Please advise.

6. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 6y

Your post is a little unclear in its question.
Firstly, nearly 'All' airline tickets, whether domestic or international - are one way.
Are you asking simply.. What is the cheapest one way ticket from Ho Chi Minh to Madison in August?

7. Posted by Hcoi (Budding Member 9 posts) 6y

Quoting flyingbob

Your post is a little unclear in its question.
Firstly, nearly 'All' airline tickets, whether domestic or international - are one way.
Are you asking simply.. What is the cheapest one way ticket from Ho Chi Minh to Madison in August?

Oops, sorry
My question is exactly like that.
Or from Bangkok, Thailand or Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Madison. :)

8. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 2001 posts) 6y

You should be pricing that flight into Chicago ORD - the trip to Madison is an easy bus ride. I tried ITA Software to determine the cheapest dates for SGN-ORD:

August 11th or 24th $1140. on United
August 28th $1020. on United
August 31st $842. on China Southern

departing Singapore on Aug 16th - $1040. Etihad Air SIN-ORD -

departing Kuala Lumpur on Aug 16th - $1079. Malaysia Air KUL-ORD -

(Etihad is the best airline in terms of quality and comfort)

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Jun-2010, at 10:46 by Daawgon ]

9. Posted by Hcoi (Budding Member 9 posts) 6y


I got your PM and I will forward it to my daddy to consider. Thank you for your help.