One way flex versus return flex with refund of return

Old Nov 28, 19, 9:46 am
  #1  
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One way flex versus return flex with refund of return

Hi everyone,


Here is my wondering.

In anticipation of the upcoming trouble, I needed to secure a one way to HAJ. Not being sure I was going to need it, I looked at flex prices which come to a whopping 600+

I then looked at a flex return for both legs, with the idea of not using the return leg. Price is somewhere over 400, with the return priced at 178.

I checked the tickets conditions about refund after the journey has started. Strangely enough, the conditions for the return leg are "refund without penalty".

Thinking it was too good to be true, I read further and it states that the ticket must be used in full in sequential order, which we know is standard. Not complying incurs a penalty of 125 of a medium haul ticket.

Do you agree that if I ask for the refund of the second leg, they will not reprice the ticket, but apply a penalty of 125, leaving me with 178-125=53 in the pocket instead of nothing? I could ask the Plat line, but would rather make some research first.

Thank you to share your experience if any!

Last edited by carnarvon; Nov 28, 19 at 3:10 pm
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Old Nov 28, 19, 3:34 pm
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Most likely not: they will reprice the ticket as one way and refund the difference. If one way is more expensive than what you've paid, they would usually refund the taxes of the return leg at least. The 125 EUR penalty is charged in case you show up for your return flight without having flown the first leg.
With AF ticket structure, they would certainly reprice the outbound leg using the cheapest one way that has a higher booking class in the hierarchy than what you've booked, if your outbound booking class does not have a suitable one way fare attached to it, meaning there is no one way fare in this booking class that can be bought at your ticketing date for your departure date. This seems likely given your example.

Here is what I believe would be the hierarchy used by AF:
J9 C9 D9 I9 Z9 O9 Y9 B9 M9 P9 U9 F9 K9 W9 H9 S9 L9 A9 Q9 T9 E9 N9 R9 V9 X9 G9

The thing is that they might still sell round trip in E class but shortly before departure there is no "suitable" E fare one way, and the cheapest one way fare theoretically possible (taking into account ticketing date and date of departure and flight used) is certainly a T fare (the WK brand or something like that). However, even if E is available, they can also make intermediary booking class unavailable (like P to T), meaning that one way, you must buy an expensive M class. In this case, rather than buying M one way, you could buy E+G round trip, buy G as FLEX, and ask for a refund of the return leg. They would not know what booking class was available at time of booking, so they would just go up the hierarchy until they find a one way fare that complies with all requirements (like a T fare) and then refund the price difference. So you essentially buy one way in T with this scheme, although only M was available outright. Technical and complicated, but rather sweet, isn't it?

However, if you don't need the flexibility, you should buy Light/Classic both ways, save 160-200 EUR and find a return throw away leg with the cheapest booking class, by staying more than a week and less than 6 months in HAJ. The return leg would have a value of 50-100 EUR that you lose, but you save the flex additional fee and you don't pay for the reprice to the "next possible one way booking class".
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Old Nov 29, 19, 2:28 am
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Great. Thank you!
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Old Nov 29, 19, 2:40 am
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Alternative is using miles if you have them - they can be used one way without that this becomes expensive in miles. One ways on regular tickets are crazy expensive, as you noted.
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Old Nov 29, 19, 5:02 am
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THe 178 is only the segment pricing they use to construct the return fare. The return fare is not built using two one-way fares. If you wish to change your return ticket into a one-way ticket, they will reprice. I am afraid that the 178 is not relevant.
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Old Nov 29, 19, 5:37 am
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Originally Posted by atflyer View Post
Alternative is using miles if you have them - they can be used one way without that this becomes expensive in miles. One ways on regular tickets are crazy expensive, as you noted.
Definitely. In this case the cost for one-way is 10,000 miles plus 30 ! I took it.
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Old Nov 29, 19, 5:39 am
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
THe 178 is only the segment pricing they use to construct the return fare. The return fare is not built using two one-way fares. If you wish to change your return ticket into a one-way ticket, they will reprice. I am afraid that the 178 is not relevant.
I never buy flex tickets, so the wording of the fare rules made me wonder... Thank you for your advice.
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Old Nov 29, 19, 5:59 am
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Originally Posted by carnarvon View Post
Definitely. In this case the cost for one-way is 10,000 miles plus 30 ! I took it.
Well done and congrats with this way out of your dilemma! Used this escape a few times myself earlier.
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