A3 and their ridiculous fares, I have had it....

Old Jul 4, 19, 10:42 pm
  #1  
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Angry A3 and their ridiculous fares, I have had it....

I am so annoyed with this airline, I am trying to find a decent fare to the islands and their fares are more than double than those of SKYEXPRESS, Volotea, and Ryannair, for the exact same flight times...2.5x more expensive than Skyexpress, with Skyexpress including a bag and A3 not...So annoyed right now...I can't even get my 4 flight segments naturally, I have to run a mileage run to nowhere to meet renewal requirements... Please stop encouraging them with regional awards, they don't deserve them, they have ruined the ffp….No award availability, no upgrade coupon availability, no free front seats, expensive fares, this is ridiculous...Stop encouraging them, they are out of control...They have become worse than LH.

Last edited by nk15; Jul 4, 19 at 11:14 pm
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Old Jul 4, 19, 11:06 pm
  #2  
 
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No doubt that last-minute prices to the Greek isles during summer are ridiculously high. Airlines are profit-maximizing entities, not charities, and quite unexpectedly they are trying to milk the cows(=pax) to at least breakeven for the losses they make in low seasons (or during last month's sale... ) So I am not sure I follow. Is your planned trip to the Greek isles a holiday or a "mileage-run"?

In the former case, Skyexpress is a very decent airline. I have flown them a couple of times, their product is identical to A3/OA's domestic product, and you even get a free bag and lounge access on most of their econ fares. I would definitely go with them if their price was half that of A3 (and it was me paying rather than my employer). Ryanair sucks but for a 30-40 min flight it should be fine.

If it is a mileage-run, then even with skyrocket summer prices I bet that Gold renewal is easier and cheaper than with almost any other *A FFP. And there is always the option to fly your four segments outside peak seasons...
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Old Jul 5, 19, 12:32 am
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
I am so annoyed with this airline, I am trying to find a decent fare to the islands and their fares are more than double than those of SKYEXPRESS, Volotea, and Ryannair, for the exact same flight times...2.5x more expensive than Skyexpress, with Skyexpress including a bag and A3 not...So annoyed right now...I can't even get my 4 flight segments naturally, I have to run a mileage run to nowhere to meet renewal requirements... Please stop encouraging them with regional awards, they don't deserve them, they have ruined the ffp….No award availability, no upgrade coupon availability, no free front seats, expensive fares, this is ridiculous...Stop encouraging them, they are out of control...They have become worse than LH.
Firstly, you don't say when you are planning to travel. If it's during the summer peak, then I don't think it's realistic to expect cheap prices like the low cost carriers. If I wanted to fly to London from Vienna right now I would have to pay a lot more for full service airlines than low cost carriers (look at prices on 22nd July for example). So I don't think the problem is specific to Aegean.

I also agree with East_and_West that Aegean has a very seasonal business and they have to make the most of summer traffic. Personally, I would never travel with Aegean during the peak summer months (June, July, August), but that's because I'm a cheapskate! If I had to, I would have booked flights for the peak time months ahead when the cheap fare buckets are still available.

Regarding Miles+Bonus, I think it has definitely changed with things like the Upgrade Challenge, which has probably affected availability and also made the cabins less exclusive. The one thing that really bothers me, is the situation with seat selection for Golds. That is definitely the worst aspect of Aegean for me and seems like mean penny-pinching. The question is though, if you don't get status with A3, who can you get it with? I think we all know that in Europe there is no other airline which allows you to get *G status so easily.

Just to add, I think if you are prepared to be a little more creative, rather than the 'X-Athens-Greek Island' booking, it is possible to have a lot of fun. For example I booked flights for a few days in early September, that I'm really looking forward to. A cheap flight booked with Austrian Airlines to Lyon, and then a couple of days later a bus to Geneva. Geneva to Athens (upgraded to J), then Athens to Helsinki (upgraded to J), the ferry to Tallinn, and then Tallinn to Athens (in Y) and Athens back to Vienna (upgraded to J) all for 219.55 EUR. That's 5,446 Award miles, 4,539 Tier miles, so I have no complaints!


Last edited by headingwest; Jul 5, 19 at 1:00 am
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Old Jul 5, 19, 1:37 am
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OTOH, there is no utopia.

I just booked a BA Bus class flight for my travelling companion DUS-LHR one way for just over 150 . It was the cheapest and got her to a LHR with the least fuss so she could make a LHR connection. Other airlines had pricier tix or had later arrival times.

Last night, I booked an A3 Bus class flight DUS-IST to give me 2 needed sectors and TPs, as well as giving me enough time to make a TK connection in IST.

I feel I was lucky in both cases, simply because both airlines provided WHAT I WANTED and were reasonable in cost.

Obviously YMMV, as not everybody's needs will be met by A3 - in which case the customer must/should "jump ship". That is why I have OW and *A FF memberships 😉
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Old Jul 5, 19, 1:54 am
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Originally Posted by headingwest View Post
Regarding Miles+Bonus, I think it has definitely changed with things like the Upgrade Challenge, which has probably affected availability and also made the cabins less exclusive. The one thing that really bothers me, is the situation with seat selection for Golds. That is definitely the worst aspect of Aegean for me and seems like mean penny-pinching. The question is though, if you don't get status with A3, who can you get it with? I think we all know that in Europe there is no other airline which allows you to get *G status so easily.
It's true that after the introduction of business class seat auctioning op-ups have almost completely stopped for me, and it has become considerably harder to redeem my vouchers. Yet they still work. Before changing to M&B my FFP used to be SK’s Eurobonus. You get no such vouchers there, just a generic promise that you will be upgraded upon availability. In practice this has been very inconsistent according to my experience, and with ever decreasing frequency. In my last years as EBD/EBG I flew several times last minute, full-fare Y+ tickets, with plenty of empty seats in C, but without getting upgraded. At least with the vouchers this is something that you can get to plan. You also know that you will most likely get the upgrade if there are vacant C seats.

I totally agree with @headingwest though that the issue with the seat selection fees is ridiculous. As A3*G I can choose a seat for free on SK, I could even select an exit row seat for free on long-haul UA and AZ flights during check-in, but not on my own FFP’s airline… The whole thing seems to be very sloppily designed in general. After being assigned a free seat the system wouldn’t let me switch to a paid one. And the 50% discount to A3*Gs (but not other *Gs), together with this crappy seat selection tool, makes the whole thing appear sleazyjet-style cheapo… Anyway, enough with my rant
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Old Jul 5, 19, 3:08 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
2.5x more expensive than Skyexpress, with Skyexpress including a bag and A3 not...So annoyed right now...I can't even get my 4 flight segments naturally, I have to run a mileage run to nowhere to meet renewal requirements...
It sounds like you are not a person that should bother with status. Rightly so, you are a person that shops around for the cheapest tickets.

If A3 annoys you so much, ask yourself this - have they also "deluded" you into chasing status, on top of all their other sins? (Chasing status is largely incompatible with being a frugal frequent flyer!)
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Old Jul 5, 19, 4:17 am
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
It sounds like you are not a person that should bother with status. Rightly so, you are a person that shops around for the cheapest tickets.

If A3 annoys you so much, ask yourself this - have they also "deluded" you into chasing status, on top of all their other sins? (Chasing status is largely incompatible with being a frugal frequent flyer!)
you have to be kidding, right? What do you think FT is about, if not good fares, chasing status, and maximizing opportunities? Sure to some extend it is my inadequate planning, but I am US based and try to maintain multiple statuses on leisure flying only and a specific schedule, you should try to do that, lol. But the deterioration of benefits on multiple fronts with A3 is so obvious that your denial is almost delusional, for many people here...I guess I am so used to the older days, and less inclined to change my traveling plans just to chase status...I am just annoyed where A3 gets the confidence to charge $250 for the same 40-min flight that Sky express charges $100 for, at the same time of the day, and with more benefits...when and where I really want to travel...their behavior defies common sense and basic free market rules...Anyway, I am just annoyed...
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Last edited by nk15; Jul 5, 19 at 5:04 am Reason: typos
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Old Jul 5, 19, 6:15 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post

you have to be kidding, right? What do you think FT is about, if not good fares, chasing status, and maximizing opportunities?
No, I'm not kidding.

If you're U.S.-based, and are expressing such displeasure at the price of what appears to be the 4 sectors on A3 that you require for status, then you should seriously consider whether chasing that status makes any sense for you.

Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
Sure to some extend it is my inadequate planning, but I am US based and try to maintain multiple statuses on leisure flying only and a specific schedule, you should try to do that, lol.
All of my travel is leisure too; I am just back from the US on my *A/A3 requalification trip. I've not had to step on an A3 aircraft in the last few years to maintain Gold.

Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
But the deterioration of benefits on multiple fronts with A3 is so obvious that your denial is almost delusional, for many people here...
What denial?

I fully agree that the deterioration has occurred, and that's why I'm asking you to consider if it's really worth it for you to stick with this programme. But while you seem to want to continue to stick with A3 for requalification, I'm asking you - why not face up to the deterioration, and determine if it really is worth sticking with A3 and chasing status?

Because reading your posts, it seems like it's not, and that's what the real issue is here.
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Old Jul 5, 19, 7:09 am
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
I am just annoyed where A3 gets the confidence to charge $250 for the same 40-min flight that Sky express charges $100 for, at the same time of the day, and with more benefits...when and where I really want to travel...their behavior defies common sense and basic free market rules...Anyway, I am just annoyed...
It's precisely because of free market rules that A3 can charge the fares they choose to. I'm sure A3 won't miss your business and Sky Express probably won't appreciate it either.
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Old Jul 5, 19, 7:27 am
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Originally Posted by Dover2Golf View Post
It's precisely because of free market rules that A3 can charge the fares they choose to. I'm sure A3 won't miss your business and Sky Express probably won't appreciate it either.
You appear very confident about who will miss my business or not.
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Last edited by NWIFlyer; Jul 5, 19 at 8:00 am Reason: To comply with rule 12
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Old Jul 5, 19, 7:33 am
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
You appear very confident about who will miss my business or not
The fact that you are complaining about having to book 4 Aegean flights to retain status suggests that the airline won't miss your business at all.

There are some posters on Flyertalk (particularly in the BAEC forum) who spend thousands of pounds on flights every year, but they are quite honest about the fact that they know the airline wouldn't miss them if they moved their business. We are minnows in an ocean.

I'm not defending the airline, but they sell fares for what the market allows. You would do the same if you were running an airline, or you'd be out of a job!
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Last edited by NWIFlyer; Jul 5, 19 at 8:01 am Reason: Removed deleted section of quoted post
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Old Jul 5, 19, 7:36 am
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
You appear very confident about who will miss my business or not.
Reading between the lines ("I can't even get my 4 flight segments naturally, I have to run a mileage run to nowhere to meet renewal requirements") it seems that you take at most 4 sectors per annum on A3.

That makes you a far better customer than me - I've not flown on A3 in the last few years.

Instead, the "costs" of us using our *A benefits granted by A3 on other *A carriers probably means we are a net cost to the airline.

And trust me - speaking as someone who has never worked for any airline or any company even remotely connected to travel, A3 would miss neither of us were we to drop them (or, in my case, just Miles+Bonus as I have already largely dropped A3!!)

Last edited by NWIFlyer; Jul 5, 19 at 8:05 am Reason: Remove deleted section of quoted post
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Old Jul 5, 19, 7:54 am
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Originally Posted by headingwest View Post
There are some posters on Flyertalk (particularly in the BAEC forum) who spend thousands of pounds on flights every year, but they are quite honest about the fact that they know the airline wouldn't miss them if they moved their business. We are minnows in an ocean.
As a primarily BA/oneworld customer these days, there's no questioning the validity of this. Between MrsNWI and I we probably put approaching a five figure sum into BA or their JV with American. We'll probably fly 25-30 BA sectors this year. Neither of us is under any illusion that in terms of importance we simply don't figure.

If BA happened to lose the NHS contract there might be a few furrowed brows. For A3, in terms of size, the equivalent is probably a government department. None of us, as individuals, matters.

In other words, unless you put a million /$/Euros or more into any airline of significant size, don't expect them to value you one iota.

What we are seeing here is likely good revenue management - A3 will have sold out of the lower fare buckets and so all that's left are the more flexible ones. They won't care about selling them at the moment, and will only seek to offload the inventory if seats remain empty a few days before. You could take your chances that lower fare buckets will open again to allow a price drop (they're not necessarily directly connected, but that's the natural result).

So right now other airlines look more attractive. Once they clear their lower priced inventory it'll be a different picture and anyone wanting to travel last minute will have no choice but to pay the going rate.
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Old Jul 5, 19, 8:29 am
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I am not talking about my personal business, I am talking about our "collective" business, if more people would complaint or vote with their wallets, A3 may start paying attention...At least for some of the benefits...I do have more skin in the A3 game than many people here, as I spend 1-2 months a year in Greece, and also travel with family, so multiple A3 tickets every time, which add up, but it is unfortunately usually at the expensive times of the year.

Good points about the revenue management strategy, I just get annoyed with it, when you are in the wrong end of it...
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Old Jul 5, 19, 9:20 am
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I don't book last minute, but in general I find A3 to be quite cheap. I fly them to my Greek vacation every summer. This year I have DME-SKG-HER, PAS-ATH-CDG booked and all of the flights were quite cheap. I find it annoying however that I cannot even PAY to select seats on the SKG-HER or PAS-ATH segments as I want to make sure my gf and I are seated together and ideally in the Exit Row as we're both tall.
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