Who actually buys extortionate economy?

Old Sep 20, 13, 4:17 am
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Who actually buys extortionate economy?

BA and many other airlines give fewer miles/tier points to tickets in lower classes of economy. But who actually buys the expensive Y class tickets? Businesses are cutting back, sometimes it can even be cheaper to just buy another ticket or pay a change fee and some of the fully flexible fares are more expensive than WT+ or Club. Do the airlines actually ever sell these tickets - I know I've booked last minute on many an occasion and still been told the ticket has restrictions.
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Old Sep 20, 13, 4:22 am
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Originally Posted by ManchesterBDFlyer View Post
Some of the fully flexible fares are more expensive than WT+ or Club.
Yes but at many big companies the travel policy is economy only, regardless of whether cheaper business class tickets exist. Rules are rules and with big companies you cannot negotiate.
Same goes for my ex-employer's hotel policy. Their negotiated hotels must be used, even if the rate is higher than other hotels nearby that are better.
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Old Sep 20, 13, 4:28 am
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I wouldn't say I often fly on Y, B, H tickets but it does happen - I'd guess maybe 10% of the time.

Normally it's when I'm flying long haul at fairly short notice and in the case of the US, not staying over a Saturday night. In those circs there's rarely any other option.

It doesn't matter that WT+ or CW may be cheaper (although it almost never is in these circs) if the client has a Y only policy.
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Old Sep 20, 13, 4:31 am
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People will pay the full fare Y if that is the only option available to them. But they may also pay it because they do not fully understand the flexibility available at lower fares.

At my old employer (2005-2007) we used to fly business class and tended to book fully flexible J.

I did observe that the C fare with GBP 200 change and 20% cancellation penalty might be more appropriate in some cases but the Principals seemed to appreciate the peace of mind from the flexibility, so J it was.

The same argument could also be applied to F and CW, "who actually pays for F?" and so on being the clarion call. But with the possible exception of the government of Qatar there is always somebody with more cash than you.

Last edited by Sixth Freedom; Sep 20, 13 at 5:14 am
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Old Sep 20, 13, 5:12 am
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I suspect these are used for last minute travel emergencies, personal or work when you find out you have to get from A to B at very short notice.

Alternatively, where travel plans are very fluid and timing to get to the destination is essential.

I do recall a very US senior executive who was entitled to a private jet but preferred to flexible F instead. Booking and changing a crew for private jet flights are expensive and flexible F is cheaper where the airline pick up the cost of changes.

Last edited by KenJohn; Sep 20, 13 at 5:17 am
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Old Sep 20, 13, 5:17 am
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And do not forget that companies may well have special contracts that allow them to book flights in flexible fare buckets at lower prices or that they get a significant cash back at the end of the year.
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Old Sep 20, 13, 5:19 am
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Originally Posted by totti View Post
And do not forget that companies may well have special contracts that allow them to book flights in flexible fare buckets at lower prices or that they get a significant cash back at the end of the year.
And this is a good incentive for BA to increase the Y/B fare to significant multiples of other fares whilst the regular economy fares remain unchanged.

Sound market segmentation.
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Old Sep 20, 13, 5:30 am
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I once attended a seminar organised by the US Army in Central Asia at their expense. The travel policy was Y only, but all participants travelled on full fare Y tickets at very high prices. Restricted J fares were half the price but were not permitted.

The policy was to use US airlines unless there was no alternative - in my darker moments squashed in a Y class seat I wondered if this was a cunning way of transferring tax-payers money to US corporations.
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Old Sep 20, 13, 6:10 am
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Originally Posted by Dr Dave View Post
I once attended a seminar organised by the US Army in Central Asia at their expense. The travel policy was Y only, but all participants travelled on full fare Y tickets at very high prices. Restricted J fares were half the price but were not permitted.

The policy was to use US airlines unless there was no alternative - in my darker moments squashed in a Y class seat I wondered if this was a cunning way of transferring tax-payers money to US corporations.
Step 1: Pay full fare Y
Step 2: Bill the Client
Step 3: Cancel full fare Y, book J instead
Step 4: Donate fare different to the US equivalent of 'Help for Heroes' or stick it in the US equivalent of the poppy collection tin
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Old Sep 20, 13, 6:14 am
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Originally Posted by Sixth Freedom View Post
... The same argument could also be applied to F and CW, "who actually pays for F?" ...
I have today, for the very first time. I have a rather convoluted itinerary (a roundtrip TATL with several domestics on AA), when I called the GGL line and gave the flights I needed stating CW TATL and first for the AA domestics the First Class TATL fare was actually significantly cheaper than the CW fare. The TATLs are booking class A and domestics F ... all the domestics are on BA flight codes so more Avios and OnBusiness points ... and (without wanting to upset the TP runners) a little over 1600 TPs.
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Old Sep 20, 13, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by Sixth Freedom View Post
Step 1: Pay full fare Y
Step 2: Bill the Client
Step 3: Cancel full fare Y, book J instead
Step 4: Donate fare different to the US equivalent of 'Help for Heroes' or stick it in the US equivalent of the poppy collection tin
Alternative step 4: send the Client a cheque for the fare difference once you have been paid. Say you got a cheaper fare. You don't have to say that it was business class.
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Old Sep 20, 13, 6:34 am
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Earlier this year, after my now former employer had changed their travel policy to effectively be Economy only in Europe, I was required to do a return to Paris without a Saturday night stay, and I used one of my soon to expire GUF2 vouchers. What this did was put me in CE, and show the ticket as CE, however the only options without were: 600 GBP Eurostar (no Eco available), 740GBP CE return, 620 Y ET return - my ticket came out at about 180 GBP return (booked not in Y, but a more restrictive and cheaper fare bucket and yet seated in CE).

So sometimes the class of travel really shouldn't matter, it should be the cost, and I can tell you any shareholder of any corporation is more concerned about the bottom line than how (legally) it was reached.
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Old Sep 20, 13, 6:37 am
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You will NEVER find a big business which would allow you to book multiple nonrefundable tickets on different flights, even if the overall cost worked out lower than a flex. Their minds don't work that way.
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Old Sep 20, 13, 6:41 am
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
You will NEVER find a big business which would allow you to book multiple nonrefundable tickets on different flights, even if the overall cost worked out lower than a flex. Their minds don't work that way.
Whilst, in the main, I agree with Raffles, this particular "big business" actually stipulated cheapest Economy in their new travel booking policy - ie restrictive, and whilst I am not allowed to say who they were, if I did, it would shock.

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Old Sep 20, 13, 6:54 am
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Originally Posted by boadh398 View Post
So sometimes the class of travel really shouldn't matter, it should be the cost, and I can tell you any shareholder of any corporation is more concerned about the bottom line than how (legally) it was reached.
Whilst in principle I agree, I also expect that there are many administrators out there whose objectives are at odds with those of the shareholders.
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