Flights selling out in last couple of hours

Old Jun 19, 11, 11:49 am
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Flights selling out in last couple of hours

The past 3 returns I have taken from China right up to t-24 (and beyond) the flight has been wide open; straight 9s on expert flyer. But by the time I get off the internal flights at PEK, it's been oversold. This morning I checked from Qingdao at 0715 and there was loads of availability. Yet less than 2 hours later when I went to get my boarding pass it was oversold again.

Don't get me wrong, it's worked in my favour as I got upgraded each time. But I'm struggling to understand how the sales can change so much, so quickly. do you think CA is unloading excess sales onto BA? Any ideas?
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Old Jun 19, 11, 11:53 am
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Since 2007 BA have routinely been overselling flights an still selling into the cheap Y fares classes. So it isn't a case of a flight selling out in 2 hours just another example of why KVS et al only show part of the story.
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Old Jun 19, 11, 11:58 am
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If I've understood you right, one wouldn't expect to be seeing 9s in F and J in these circumstances?
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Old Jun 19, 11, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by ColdWalker View Post
If I've understood you right, one wouldn't expect to be seeing 9s in F and J in these circumstances?
It depends on what cabin is being oversold and by how much. I've seen flights wide open in F and J, hugely oversold in Y with consequent rolling forward. The first couple of times it happened to me it was a real surprise until I worked out what was happening.
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Old Jun 19, 11, 12:24 pm
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In the last 2-3 years and 30 odd flights home I find that from both PVG and PEK some flights are very full-over sold from May- Sept, after that then it gets nice to have lots of empty seats in Y on the PEK/PVG-LHR route.

Funny how I used to get many upgrades when I was only a mere blue on these routes, and now the silver card seems to have no effect..

Slighty O/T
By any chance if someone reading this was on BA039 LHR-PEK Saturday June 10, who were the Chinese waiting for with full limo VIP service? must have had a lot of hangers on, as people were being offloaded and others, bumped down from CW-WT+..and so on.
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Old Jun 19, 11, 12:32 pm
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In principle the flight can be oversold and wide open in all classes.

To see this, consider that the availability may be based on the demand to come.

If the optimiser sees that:
* there are 100 seats in total
* 105 bookings are held
* 10 passengers are expected to noshow
* based on the history of this flight no other passengers are likely to materialise.

So the optimiser will say to itself, "OK, I am expecting to have 5 empty seats on this flight and I don't think anybody else will be demanding a seat, so I might as well open all classes in case a low willingness to pay passenger comes along. If I do this I will not be risking displacing a high value passenger because I don't think any are out there. And if either a low or high value passenger pops up then I am increasing revenue."

Or something like that.
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Old Jun 19, 11, 1:23 pm
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Useful example 6F - thanks! I'm a bit wooley headed this evening, which is understandable with the time difference. But I think what you guys are telling me is that, say, a 747 has 500 sellable seats and all 500 are sold, then it may still show high availability if there are often no shows. So although high availability has always been a marker of low upgrade likelihood, this may not always be the case. And on this route may well be unusual in the summer in regularly showing high availability on well sold flights.
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Old Jun 19, 11, 1:35 pm
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Availability is totally misleading when judging how busy a flight is....

When I worked for BA and was using staff travel, I never really knew how busy the flight was by looking at the res figures,they tend to be very misleading, it was only when the flight appeared in the check in system, that I knew really how busy the flight was.

218
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Old Jun 19, 11, 3:47 pm
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This seems to run contrary to threads here before about BA's focus on yield, rather than bums-on-seats at low marginal revenue

Wouldn't yield maximisation lead the revenue optimiser to leave only higher fare buckets open, e.g. F, J and Y ?
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Old Jun 19, 11, 3:50 pm
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Only if you think you're going to sell some seats at those fares.
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Old Dec 21, 11, 5:32 am
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I am interested in this too. I am currently on the BA 0039 to Pek on 26th december in WT and have blue card. I wanted to upgrade but there seems no option to this even though the flight is empty. Any ideas/help with this route LHR -PEK and whether the flight is full?
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Old Dec 21, 11, 6:46 am
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Originally Posted by emorge22 View Post
I am interested in this too. I am currently on the BA 0039 to Pek on 26th december in WT and have blue card. I wanted to upgrade but there seems no option to this even though the flight is empty. Any ideas/help with this route LHR -PEK and whether the flight is full?
It depends on a lot of variables. It depends on what ticket class your ticket is in as not all tickets are upgradeable with miles or cash. As has been shown on this thread it can appear quiet but not be. Never go by seat maps as although they can look empty it often means that noone has selected a seat yet
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Old Dec 21, 11, 7:04 am
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Originally Posted by emorge22 View Post
I am interested in this too. I am currently on the BA 0039 to Pek on 26th december in WT and have blue card. I wanted to upgrade but there seems no option to this even though the flight is empty. Any ideas/help with this route LHR -PEK and whether the flight is full?
You don't say whether you want to upgrade with money or miles/Avios.

For the former, you can of course buy up to whatever WT+ fare is available, but it's likely to be v expensive. You may also be offered a proactive upgrade for less when you check-in online or at the airport. Or you may not. It depends.

Only the higher WT fares (selling classes Y, B and H) are possible to upgrade using miles/Avios, regardless of space and redemption availability.

Currently looking like:

Results from ExpertFlyer.com
Code:
Flight Availability Search
Departing LHR on 26/12/11 0:00 for PEK
Flying BA  
Point of Sale: UK


                                                                     Frequency
Flight        Stops  Depart             Arrive             Aircraft  Reliability     Available Classes
0 Connections
BA 39         0      LHR                PEK                744       Unavailable     F9 A9 J9 C9 D9 R9 I9 W9 E9 T9 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L9 V9 S1 NC QC O9 G9 
                     26/12/11 16:40     27/12/11 10:25               36% / 35m

hth
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Old Dec 21, 11, 7:46 am
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dunk thanks for your message - would be upgrading with money. However, ofcourse I am not prepared to pay for the wt+ without it unless being the proactive upgrade as you suggested. That will be alot of money, however, i was looking at buying the upgrade that is in the region of 180. I just called and spoke to BA still no upgrades available to buy! She told me economy is basically nearly full but all other cabins wide open and practically empty!

Am i correct in thinking from your post that the flight is only 35% full?
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Old Dec 21, 11, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by emorge22 View Post
However, ofcourse I am not prepared to pay for the wt+ without it unless being the proactive upgrade as you suggested. That will be alot of money, however, i was looking at buying the upgrade that is in the region of 180. I just called and spoke to BA still no upgrades available to buy!
Well, it may never happen. You just don't know.
Originally Posted by emorge22 View Post
She told me economy is basically nearly full but all other cabins wide open and practically empty!
That improves your chances of an op-up, although they shouldn't happen unless economy is overbooked rather than merely full. Only then will there be a real need to move people into higher cabins than those they've booked.
Originally Posted by emorge22 View Post
Am i correct in thinking from your post that the flight is only 35% full?
You can't tell that from those numbers.

The 36% figure is in the "reliability" column, which has nothing to do with how full the flight is.
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