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Thought for the day: Think before you book that award flight !

Thought for the day: Think before you book that award flight !

Old Oct 24, 08, 4:28 am
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Lightbulb Thought for the day: Think before you book that award flight !

We are all aware that the pound has been in freefall lately. That is going to play havoc with some award bookings. While airlines don't amend their exchange rates on a daily basis, the next upload is sure to be a kicker, partcularly on airlines that charge YQ in US$.

Example: TG LHR-BKK-LHR, YQ charge $440.

Three months ago that was roughly £222 ($1.98), booked today it's £257 ($ 1.71). This morning the pound is trading at $1.55, so unless things improve quickly (yea right !), the next exchange rate upload could see that YQ charge head to over £280 !

So, think about that award. You might want to get it booked this week, or you may want to hold off a while and hope the pound recovers somewhat and that those airlines continue to drop their YQ charges; or pick a carrier that quotes YQ in £ or €.


Edited to add: of course, as mentioned below, our friends across the pond are luvin it !

Last edited by FlyingOnceMore; Oct 24, 08 at 7:52 am
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Old Oct 24, 08, 5:40 am
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A good example is SQ. Although they also charge in US$ for YQ they are substantially cheaper than TG. LHR-SIN-LHR is only US$230. You can clearly see what a rip-off the YQ charge is on TG longhaul flights.
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Old Oct 24, 08, 6:16 am
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On the flip side, the US-based Diamond Club members are ecstatic! For some awards, it was cheaper to redeem Miles only than C+M because the GBP had run up so much on the USD and we can earn miles cheaply on US and UA A class tix.

Now, it doesn't hurt quite so much book a C+M award, and I can go back to planning my trips for next year
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Old Oct 24, 08, 6:44 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingOnceMore View Post
We are all aware that the pound has been in freefall lately. That is going to play havoc with some award bookings. While airlines don't amend their exchange rates on a daily basis, the next upload is sure to be a kicker, partcularly on airlines that charge YQ in US$.
I agree that this sort of change is bad for folks in the UK (and great for me in the USA), but my understanding is that the airlines DO update their exchange rates daily, or at least that they are governed by IATA and are loaded into the GDSes somehow as a conversion to NUCs or something like that. There was some discussion in the Mileage Run forum last week as Iceland started their economic meltdown about how a re-pricing of fares into the new ISK could make that an affordable destination, at least air-fare wise. And I know that when pricing tickets in the past I've seen a variation of a few cents here or there on international tickets as the exchange rate varies on the various taxes/fees.

So, yes, this is something to keep an eye on, but I think that it might be even worse than you thought.

S.
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Old Oct 24, 08, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
I agree that this sort of change is bad for folks in the UK (and great for me in the USA), but my understanding is that the airlines DO update their exchange rates daily, or at least that they are governed by IATA and are loaded into the GDSes somehow as a conversion to NUCs or something like that.
I'm certainly no expert either, and I know there's different IATA exchange updates (monthly/quarterly) for differing purposes, but I've always understood that they update them for fare calculation once a week. Compiled on a Tuesday for use from Wednesday, I believe.
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Old Oct 24, 08, 8:34 am
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Just done a comparison for our upcoming bookings. The was trading at $1.79 when I booked back in July, so even though TG's YQ has come down, it's only a few $, and nowhere near enough to offset the currency fluctuations, so the cost will be a little more in real terms now.

Interestingly, the BD YQ on the FRA-BHX hasn't come down at all
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Old Oct 24, 08, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingOnceMore View Post
I'm certainly no expert either, and I know there's different IATA exchange updates (monthly/quarterly) for differing purposes, but I've always understood that they update them for fare calculation once a week. Compiled on a Tuesday for use from Wednesday, I believe.
That's how I've always seen it, too - and the weekly update is definitely on Wednesday.
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Old Oct 29, 08, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingOnceMore View Post
Example: TG LHR-BKK-LHR, YQ charge $440.

Three months ago that was roughly £222 ($1.98), booked today it's £257 ($ 1.71). This morning the pound is trading at $1.55, so unless things improve quickly (yea right !), the next exchange rate upload could see that YQ charge head to over £280 !
Just to confirm, the YQ charge went up from last weeks £257 to £283.40 after the new exchange rates loaded this morning.
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Old Nov 7, 08, 4:55 pm
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Just to resurrect this thread, TG reduced it's YQ by ~30% effective 6 Nov according to The Nation.

The reduction is reflected on ITA, so LHR-BKK-LHR is $308 or £194.60 today ($1.51/£), so at least it's heading in the right direction at last albeit slowly due to the exchange rate.
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Old Nov 9, 08, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by Tiger_lily View Post
Just to resurrect this thread, TG reduced it's YQ by ~30% effective 6 Nov according to The Nation.

The reduction is reflected on ITA, so LHR-BKK-LHR is $308 or 194.60 today ($1.51/), so at least it's heading in the right direction at last albeit slowly due to the exchange rate.
New charges also here:

http://www.etravelblackboard.com/sho...d=84373&nav=72
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