TATL w/onward cheaper than just TATL?

Old May 9, 2024, 7:33 am
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TATL w/onward cheaper than just TATL?

Riddle me this Batman:

How is it that a USA-LHR TATL flt is 298K, but if you make it USA-LHR-EU then itís 57.5K. Same outbound TATL, same time, same day. I mean whatís the thinking/methodology/algorithm that makes 2 segments cheaper than one?

Thanks for any insight.
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Old May 9, 2024, 7:41 am
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Originally Posted by Perdita
Riddle me this Batman:

How is it that a USA-LHR TATL flt is 298K, but if you make it USA-LHR-EU then itís 57.5K. Same outbound TATL, same time, same day. I mean whatís the thinking/methodology/algorithm that makes 2 segments cheaper than one?

Thanks for any insight.
This happens all the time with cash fares, why would awards be any different?
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Old May 9, 2024, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by Perdita
Riddle me this Batman:

How is it that a USA-LHR TATL flt is 298K, but if you make it USA-LHR-EU then itís 57.5K. Same outbound TATL, same time, same day. I mean whatís the thinking/methodology/algorithm that makes 2 segments cheaper than one?

Thanks for any insight.
Because airlines price based on supply and demand between two destinations, not based on the cost to operate. This is true whether in cash or points. There are literally hundreds of examples of this every day, you havenít discovered some weird outlier case.
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Old May 9, 2024, 7:56 am
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Its pricing this way because for 298K, it is solely on AA metal, and has AA award dynamic award pricing for its flights. The 57.5k award is a partner award and includes at least one segment on BA.

But yes, for the same USA-LHR segment, AA may price its own flight out dynamically at 298K but also make it available within a partner award for 57.5K.

Enjoy partner awards while they last.
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Old May 9, 2024, 8:02 am
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Yeah, Pts are priced (*pretty much), like cash, according to whatever AA thinks they can get from the point to point route. Independent pricing of origin-final destination based on supply/demand of that origin-destination pair, is well within normal capitalistic economies.

So, they think they can get/ask for 298K pts for someone going to London. When it comes to USA-LHR, AA is king, they can ask for a higher price. They think they can get/ask for 55K points for the EU destination (Routing through LHR doesn't matter for setting this price). It's much more competitive, and AA is willing to take the 55K points off their obligations instead of seeing you go to delta or UA.

Mile redemptions are a little different than cash though, because they are also in competition with their own cash fares. A lot of times, domestically at least, cash fares go down on weekends and pts go way up on weekends. And around holidays, the cash fares may be as much as twice as high, but the mileage fares can go from 80K points flying the weekend after Thanksgiving to 8K points flying on Tuesday instead. They really know how to demand high mile prices during times that people are more likely to use miles and when they are more likely to be able to fill seats with cash paying customers. When you see low mileage awards to Europe, they are often on less than ideal routes that are not going to be that competitive on selling for cash. I've had two 'good redemptions' to Europe in the last few years, and they were both objectively pretty shtty flight schedules.

(* the star here is to point out to the 'partner awards' and stuff. That LHR-EU leg is often (always?) on BA, and I usually either see it for 57K pts or more often than not, just plain not available at all).
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Old May 9, 2024, 9:24 am
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Curious if you can book to a UK destination (e.g. Glasgow) and like in the US claim luggage at customs and then not recheck it an skip the next leg. Do you collect luggage at LHR to go to a UK destination? I know they check it through to an EU location. Other option would be to reposition to a BA only route (IAH, AUS CVG IAD...)
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Old May 9, 2024, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by Lonedaddy
Curious if you can book to a UK destination (e.g. Glasgow) and like in the US claim luggage at customs and then not recheck it an skip the next leg. Do you collect luggage at LHR to go to a UK destination? I know they check it through to an EU location. Other option would be to reposition to a BA only route (IAH, AUS CVG IAD...)
No you don't collect luggage at LHR and both BA and AA tend to refuse to short check to just LHR if you have an onward flight within a few hours of landing.
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Old May 9, 2024, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by wrp96
No you don't collect luggage at LHR and both BA and AA tend to refuse to short check to just LHR if you have an onward flight within a few hours of landing.
The exception, of course, is if your connecting flight departs from a different London airport, like LCY or LGW.
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Old May 9, 2024, 10:06 am
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Remember that upon arrival LHR you can always ask for your checked bag(s) to be delivered to you regardless if tagged to final destination if you e.g. do not feel well to travel on your next flight from LHR. It may take some time though for the bags to appear on luggage belts at LHR.
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Old May 9, 2024, 11:19 am
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Its also known as hidden city flying or skiplagging which is frowned upon by the airlines and considered morally wrong when done with intent and premeditation in my opinion... but I digress
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Old May 9, 2024, 11:41 am
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Slightly off topic. Maybe this has been happening forever and I never noticed it. But I found a case this week where putting in 2 passengers resulted in a lower price for a F award than when searching for one. ORD-DFW-LHR (all AA metal) was F4 and J1. Searching for 1 resulted in (J) 400k and (F) 410k. When I searched for 2 people J wasn't available and (F) priced at 105k pp.

Like most, I was familiar that searching for 4 people can be more expensive than 1 person due to fare bucket availability. But I've never witnessed a case where J affects F and when J sells out F goes lower.
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Old May 9, 2024, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by chicago747
Slightly off topic. Maybe this has been happening forever and I never noticed it. But I found a case this week where putting in 2 passengers resulted in a lower price for a F award than when searching for one. ORD-DFW-LHR (all AA metal) was F4 and J1. Searching for 1 resulted in (J) 400k and (F) 410k. When I searched for 2 people J wasn't available and (F) priced at 105k pp.

Like most, I was familiar that searching for 4 people can be more expensive than 1 person due to fare bucket availability. But I've never witnessed a case where J affects F and when J sells out F goes lower.
Thatís downright bizarre
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Old May 9, 2024, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by javabytes
Thatís downright bizarre
While I was searching this I put the 1 (J) seat on hold and then searched for 1 person and (F) priced at 72k. The 110k I saw for 2 people had to be the average I guess of the 72k and then the next level. The flights are next week and it's nuts how much AA premium cabin awards fluctuate < 2 weeks from departure.
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Old May 9, 2024, 1:23 pm
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Does this only work for EU or would it also work for, for example Manchester? Could take the train from Manchester to London easily enough.
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Old May 9, 2024, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by AlwaysFlyStar
Does this only work for EU or would it also work for, for example Manchester? Could take the train from Manchester to London easily enough.
There's one way to find out.

Edited to add: You could also take the train from (and to) BRU.
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