Air France Frequence Plus - Warning... N code MADness
Sep 14, 05, 2:01 pm
This story is a little bit different from our previous discussions on N fares earning only 25% miles.
Today I asked my corporate TA to book me a MAD-CDG-MAD on AF. They found flights matching my needs... a 730 euros ticket. They also had fully flexible and refundable tickets for about 950 euros.
Everything was fine until I checked the booking code. The infamous N. What a :eek: to realize that an almost flexible ticket (non refundable but can be changed with an affordable penalty of 60 euros) was booked in N! This code is usually used for cheap weekend flights at 130/150 euros.
I called AF and a nice but embarassed lady, also quite surprised by this presumed anomaly, finally explained me:This must be an AF Spain issue. They use N for expensive fares, we don't do that in France. But I confirm you will only get 375 miles.
I then used my usual booking website, searched and found exactly the same flights for 200 euros less (with more restrictions though). And booking codes (M) that earn 100% :confused:
My point is not about prices. I just can't understand why AF can't have a worldwide policy restricting booking codes to certain fare categories. I haven't heard of any airlines using "F" for "Cheapo weekend fare" so I don't expect "N" to be used for expensive flexible fares.
Sep 14, 05, 2:07 pm
wow must have money to burn - easyjet return is 140 euro
Sep 14, 05, 2:17 pm
wow must have money to burn - easyjet return is 140 euro
1 flight a day, from 85 to 230 euros / segment. Outbound at 14:10, inbound at 16:40. Not very convenient...
That doesn't seem to affect competition.
Sep 14, 05, 2:18 pm
strange story. :rolleyes:
so what are the cheapest COB in Spain? :rolleyes: C ;)
Sep 14, 05, 2:35 pm
so what are the cheapest COB in Spain? :rolleyes: C ;)A Spanish lesson for you (easy!):
¿Cómo obtener las mejores tarifas?
VUELOS HACIA AMERICA DEL NORTE:
Para obtener las mejores tarifas hacia estos destinos, sólo necesita pasar la noche del sábado a domingo y no sobrepasar tres meses de estancia.
VUELOS HACIA OTROS DESTINOS:
Para obtener las mejores tarifas hacia estos destinos, necesita quedarse 7 días mínimo y no sobrepasar los tres meses de estancia.
Por favor recuerde que todas las tarifas son sujetas a disponibilidad.
Sep 14, 05, 2:39 pm
A Spanish lesson for you (easy!):
Sep 14, 05, 2:45 pm
"How to obtain the best tariffs? FLIGHTS TOWARDS AMERICA OF THE NORTH: In order to obtain the best tariffs towards these destinies, it only needs to spend the night of Saturday to Sunday and not to exceed three months of stay. FLIGHTS TOWARDS OTHER DESTINIES: In order to obtain the best tariffs towards these destinies, it needs to remain 7 days minimum and not to exceed the three months of stay. Please it remembers that all the tariffs are subject to availability."
I think I get the drift... if we make ourselves totally non-competitive by requiring some sort of arbitary time limit longer than most people are prepared to hang around for, we'll try and squeeze more dosh out of those on expense accounts.
Sep 21, 05, 1:08 pm
This is confirmed. :mad: 187 miles for my MAD-CDG segment in N, a 730 € ticket. Probably the most expensive miles I've ever received. AF and FB won't even discuss that matter. "Check that with your corporate TA", they said.
I'd better catch the opportunity (received today from FB via snail mail) of 500 miles for a 6-month subscription to Le Journal de Mickey. :rolleyes:
I cannot find these expensive N-fares? Strange!
Air France USD 103.00+ N30ES14D
Air France USD 160.00+ NL35ES7
Air France USD 175.00+ N1ESWE
Air France USD 205.00+ NK35ES7
Air France USD 224.00+ NH35ES7
Air France USD 224.00+ EL28ES14
Air France USD 314.00+ W1ES14D
Air France USD 433.00+ QL14ES14
Air France USD 531.00+ ML7ES1M
Air France USD 833.00+ KPXES
Air France USD 1380.00+ S
Air France USD 1565.00+ CRT1
Sep 21, 05, 1:49 pm
I've been more or less told that this fare bucket was used by the travel agent. I am not sure that the word "used" is adequate here but it seems that TA are authorized, to a certain extent, to use existing booking codes for corporate fares (you can't find it because it is not a public fare. It's called a negociated fare :D ). Too bad they didn't choose to use "P" instead.
Maybe it is time to look for another Travel agent then.
For around 800-900 euro you should be able to buy discounted business class fares on AF/KLM (IT-fare, min x-days, +2 nights hotel).
Anyway, since I discovered AIR-BERLIN it is my favourite carrier for european flights.
Happens with our TA as well. the price charged for a ticket could be way over the fare you would get when purchasing from the airline directly. When this happens, the price is usually not printed on the ticket. It just says 'IT' in stead. I get the impression that TA's buy cheap tickets and sell them on at higher prices sometimes. For example they buy a N-class ticket and sell it for 800 Euros.
This is clearly not the airline's fault.
Sep 22, 05, 8:07 am
it seems that TA are authorized, to a certain extent, to use existing booking codes for corporate fares There are all sorts of corporate and other deals, but it is not uncommon for them to specify that fare X may be booked in fare buckets A, B, C and D; fare Y in buckets B, D, E, F and G; etc. The tickets are then booked in the "lowest" bucket within the specified range that has availability. Obviously, lower, same or higher fares may be available in any or all of those buckets from other sources.
It just says 'IT' in steadIT stands for Inclusive Tour. Strictly speaking, IT fares are sold only by tour operators as part of a package deal. Such tickets may not be sold separately as "flight only". Tour operators negotiate nett fares with airlines, usually one for each fare bucket, and can then sell tickets at any price they feel like. Customers who buy a package tour of course have no way of knowing how much they are paying for their flight(s).
IT can also appear in the "fare basis" box on a ticket issued under other unpublished fares. Alternatively, the fare indicated on the ticket need not neccesarily bear any relationship to the fare actually paid, with the ticket showing the published fare for the fare bucket in which it was booked even though a negotiated fare was charged.
it Remembers me of the good old time when there existed real good "BLAUWTJES" fares for business.