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Odd revenue management practices emerging?

Odd revenue management practices emerging?

Old Oct 25, 18, 7:03 am
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Odd revenue management practices emerging?

Recently, I posted about some strange things I was noticing around a DFW-LHR round trip that I had planned for mid-October. In this thread: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/show...0#post30334120

Lots of F0, J0, W0 on those flights, and it seemed odd. Sure enough, a ton of J seats released on my flight 48h before departure, showing that AA was withholding those J seats for sale for some reason and striking the flight as J0.

Well, now I have an EXP friend that found a great deal on DFW-MAD for 6 Nov-12 Nov in PE. He booked it and selected his seat. Now he tells me that AA reached out to him and said that flight will not be operated by a plane with PE on it. Strange, as EF and AA.com list it as a 787-9, which most certainly has PE. Even AA.com's seat map for the flight on 6 Nov shows a PE cabin, with only 3/21 seats taken.

EF shows the flight (and many of them +/-3 days) as J0/W0 yet again, and they are not offered for sale on AA.com in J or W.

Anyone have credible insight on this? Very strange to see so many open J and PE seats, but yet see these flights blocked as J0/W0. And even more strange to call pax with a confirmed PE seat and tell them the flight is not operated with a PE cabin, when it clearly is scheduled to be.


EDIT: AA refunded my friend $367, gave him a $300 voucher and let him keep the 1.5EQM. So it was not a heartless bump down to Y.

Last edited by econometrics; Oct 25, 18 at 7:06 am Reason: Added info
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Old Oct 25, 18, 7:44 am
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I can't comment on the J availability, but the W availability looks weird from PHL-Europe next summer. Lots of $7,000 refundable PE fares. With the prices AA wants for coach ($1200-$1,400 even in November), I must commend them on getting such a premium; we've been using United a lot this year to Europe instead.
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Old Oct 25, 18, 7:49 am
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That price is well above the lower nonrefundable RT TATL business class fares on other airlines for most if not all routes.
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Old Oct 25, 18, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
That price is well above the lower nonrefundable RT TATL business class fares on other airlines for most if not all routes.
Indeed. If I am spending 7K of my own money on J travel, I am going to Asia. I can survive PHL-CDG on the a332 even in Y. However, UA for $450 or AA for $1,250 isn't a hard decision either. Again kudos to AA and PHL for getting people to pay some of these rates. I'll drive the extra 50 minutes to EWR if the price discrepancy is that high, especially with Gold benefits being so low on transatlantic flights.



Of course this is anecdotal, I didn't look at every European route for every weekend, but I saw this often enough.
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Old Oct 25, 18, 8:49 am
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I've been noticing this too.......who in their right mind are buying these coach fares? I too have been booking away from AA for int'l
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Old Oct 25, 18, 8:52 am
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Originally Posted by AANYC1981 View Post
I've been noticing this too.......who in their right mind are buying these coach fares? I too have been booking away from AA for int'l
I wouldn't be surprised if this was some sort of temporary, automated "guardrail" against mistake fares while prices, schedules, or equipment are updated in the system. Just a WAG, but it's pretty clear this isn't intended to be the long-term pricing.
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Old Oct 25, 18, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by Science Goy View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if this was some sort of temporary, automated "guardrail" against mistake fares while prices, schedules, or equipment are updated in the system. Just a WAG, but it's pretty clear this isn't intended to be the long-term pricing.
I've noticed it off and on for at least the past month... sometimes longer with specific routes.

And there was a report on here from someone that said they thought some of the direct routes were being zero'd out, but that connections could be booked. E.g DFW-LHR = J0, W0 but LAX-DFW-LHR doesn't.

It's all very strange, and like AANYC1981 said, it's hard to book AA for INTL J or W... when there's no J or W for sale.
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Old Oct 25, 18, 11:59 am
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Originally Posted by airb330 View Post
I can survive PHL-CDG on the a332 even in Y. However, UA for $450 or AA for $1,250 isn't a hard decision either. Again kudos to AA and PHL for getting people to pay some of these rates.
AA offers nonstop service on that route, whereas UA's service is connecting. Some people are willing to pay more for non-stop service. If you're not, then take UA.



Originally Posted by AANYC1981 View Post
I've been noticing this too.......who in their right mind are buying these coach fares?
Referring specifically to the PE fare above, people that might buy that would be people whose corporate travel rules prohibit business class travel, but allow PE. More times than not, such a travel policy does NOT have a common-sense exception clause such as "except when Business is cheaper than PE." Also, the above screenshot implies that the PE fare has fewer restrictions than the Business fare. The price isn't always the determining factor. Sometimes, other features such as refundabilty, change fees, and/or allowed routing make a more expensive ticket more desirable.
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Old Oct 25, 18, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
AA offers nonstop service on that route, whereas UA's service is connecting. Some people are willing to pay more for non-stop service. If you're not, then take UA.
You are correct. However, United serves EWR-CDG nonstop. That's the comparison for me, I wasn't comparing ZFV-EWR-CDG. UA has been $450-500 to many European destinations throughout the summer and fall; AA has consistently been $1,000+. The two airports are only 90 miles apart and I don't mind the extra 50 minutes in the car. Most people I know don't either. Again good for AA for filling an a332 at those prices, but I am not going to pay those prices when EWR is half the price.
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Old Oct 25, 18, 11:22 pm
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Originally Posted by airb330 View Post
You are correct. However, United serves EWR-CDG nonstop. That's the comparison for me, I wasn't comparing ZFV-EWR-CDG. UA has been $450-500 to many European destinations throughout the summer and fall; AA has consistently been $1,000+. The two airports are only 90 miles apart and I don't mind the extra 50 minutes in the car. Most people I know don't either. Again good for AA for filling an a332 at those prices, but I am not going to pay those prices when EWR is half the price.
Similar story out here in PHX. My coworker paid $1700 for Y PHX-ORD-VCE when LAX is a 6hr drive for far better fares (even to a small airport like Venice; LAX-FCO can be dirt cheap in economy). I shop business class fares and PHX is consistently $5500, but LAX with all of their competition is $3000. I throw in a night at an LAX airport hotel to cover my butt and come out way ahead.

And when I visit family (some in Northern NJ and some in Southern NJ) I always check both PHL and EWR and Newark has always been cheaper (both nonstops, I guess hub-to-hub is more because they want to save those seats for international connections)
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Old Oct 30, 18, 10:14 pm
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I look at LAX HKG on around Dec 15. They are selling Y class only in economy, the seatmap doesnt look that full and Y7B0, for real?
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Old Jan 4, 19, 1:31 pm
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Just another datapoint.

I was looking at BWI--DFW-ICN for next month, and also in March, as the trip dates haven't been firmed up. Both trips are about 10 days - leaving on a Friday and returning the following Saturday. In both cases, the plane's listed as a 789.

In Feb, PE isn't even offered for sale (just Y and C), despite the seat maps showing it with some seats occupied. So some folks got in there somehow. In March, it's hit or miss whether it's for sale. A Friday flight doesn't offer it, while a Thursday flight does. Usually if it's offered but sold out, it'll just say so. But not here. I let my EF subscription lapse as my travel fell off last year. So I can't look up codes yet until I renew.

My first thought was that not all 789's had PE, but seatguru and other reading here showed that wasn't the case.

If AA isn't offering it on the website, but the plane has it (and shows it mostly empty), is it something a travel agent or AA could book? I've experienced weirdness pricing tickets out before - especially to ICN - that a travel agent was able to ticket.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 3:24 pm
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Originally Posted by airb330 View Post
Indeed. If I am spending 7K of my own money on J travel, I am going to Asia. I can survive PHL-CDG on the a332 even in Y. However, UA for $450 or AA for $1,250 isn't a hard decision either. Again kudos to AA and PHL for getting people to pay some of these rates. I'll drive the extra 50 minutes to EWR if the price discrepancy is that high, especially with Gold benefits being so low on transatlantic flights.



Of course this is anecdotal, I didn't look at every European route for every weekend, but I saw this often enough.
I rode in a PE seat as MCE (so, not a PE service experience) on a 777 from Miami to DFW a couple of months ago. I am flying to Genoa and returning from Milan (MXP) in June on Lufthansa via DFW-FRA
I found the Lufthansa fare at $1495, so I grabbed it. AA wanted $2400+ Has anyone experienced both AA and Lufthansa in PE? I cannot imagine a $900-1000 benefit to fly AA. AA had be connecting to ORD or JFK, I believe and I'd rather not connect in the US, especially on the flight back. The only negatives I see so far is no lounge excess and only 1 bag instead of my normal 2 (actually the fare I got has me with 2 free checked bags to Europe, and 1 for the return)
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Old Jan 4, 19, 5:06 pm
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U habe posts this 2 places and no one knows what is going on. Suggest calling AA and asking what’s up.


Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
Just another datapoint.

I was looking at BWI--DFW-ICN for next month, and also in March, as the trip dates haven't been firmed up. Both trips are about 10 days - leaving on a Friday and returning the following Saturday. In both cases, the plane's listed as a 789.

In Feb, PE isn't even offered for sale (just Y and C), despite the seat maps showing it with some seats occupied. So some folks got in there somehow. In March, it's hit or miss whether it's for sale. A Friday flight doesn't offer it, while a Thursday flight does. Usually if it's offered but sold out, it'll just say so. But not here. I let my EF subscription lapse as my travel fell off last year. So I can't look up codes yet until I renew.

My first thought was that not all 789's had PE, but seatguru and other reading here showed that wasn't the case.

If AA isn't offering it on the website, but the plane has it (and shows it mostly empty), is it something a travel agent or AA could book? I've experienced weirdness pricing tickets out before - especially to ICN - that a travel agent was able to ticket.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 9:12 pm
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@Superguy Hey!! I too just looked into a must make trip to ICN next month as well and saw what you're seeing.

No seats available for sale in PE if I go SFO-DFW-ICN. 789 aircraft for last leg. But if I go via SFO-LAX-DFW-ICN, there are PE seats (DFW-ICN) available at $2100+ for the same flight for the DFW-ICN leg.

Strange rangers!!
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