Advice - High fares LHR-ATH April 2019

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Old Jun 19, 18, 1:28 pm
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Advice - High fares LHR-ATH April 2019

Hi all

We're looking to travel to Athens Thursday 18 April 2019 (needs to be the latest departure) and return on Monday 22 (any afternoon departure) in CE. I know its UK Easter over that weekend but weve travelled to ATH for Easter the past 3 years for around 1k for two adults advance purchase but this year its double, all CE fares on both dates appear to be D class - any likelihood I or R fares will be released as for this trip we dont need the flexibility?

Thanks in advance!

Bobbie2013
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Old Jun 19, 18, 1:51 pm
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Not sure if they're withholding them or they've already been sold given it's Easter but here are the flight loads for LHR-ATH for the 18th April, return are almost an exact replica. Flight + Hotel bookings are showing as starting from 1100 pp for info.

If you don't have to book just now may be worth waiting for a sale or look elsewhere, travel agent?

BA 640 - J9 C8 D4 R0 I0 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M0 L0 V0
N0 O0 Q0 S0 G0

BA 638 - J9 C7 D4 R0 I0 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M0 L0 V0
N0 O0 Q0 S0 G0

BA 632 - J9 C9 D5 R0 I0 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M0 L0 V0
N0 O0 Q0 S0 G0

BA 634 - J9 C9 D4 R0 I0 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M0 L0 V0
N0 O0 Q0 S0 G0
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Old Jun 19, 18, 1:57 pm
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Given that a number of local authorities are not having the usual Easter Break of two weeks at Easter, this may add additional strain to the availability at this time if people are still looking to get away for Easter itself as there is less guns I otp on dates.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 2:16 pm
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Numbers seem too uniform for the buckets to have sold out.

As April is still ten months away, I wouldn't be in a hurry to book anything yet. Try again after the summer as they are likely to release more inventory once those who absolutely have to be somewhere a year in advance, like wedding guests, have booked.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Cymro View Post
Numbers seem too uniform for the buckets to have sold out.

As April is still ten months away, I wouldn't be in a hurry to book anything yet. Try again after the summer as they are likely to release more inventory once those who absolutely have to be somewhere a year in advance, like wedding guests, have booked.
That's what I was thinking too the more I have looked at them, revenue management at work there only offering D fares and above at present. That's my my hunch anyhow.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Cymro View Post
Numbers seem too uniform for the buckets to have sold out.

As April is still ten months away, I wouldn't be in a hurry to book anything yet. Try again after the summer as they are likely to release more inventory once those who absolutely have to be somewhere a year in advance, like wedding guests, have booked.
I agree, people who book 10 months out tend to be more date than price conscious. However there are 2 CE seats for Redemptions / Avios in both directions; so either book them now as your insurance policy, cancel them and accept the redeposit fee if that makes sense; or perhaps if it's cost effective, UuA from a ET fare bucket if you need some TPs too. I also like the hotel option, since that would be a deposit fare, to spread the cost.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 3:38 pm
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Certainly seems unusually poor in terms of availability - I am in ATH (well... an hour away) and only booked a few days ago and still ended up with the outbound selling as B and the return flight selling as K. Admittedly June is not peak holiday season, but the flight out was completely full (J0 Y0 a few days before from what I could see).

Also a possible explanation - Aegean have only released inventory as far as the end of March 2019. Thus if you want to fly direct LHR - ATH on those dates at the moment, then the only option you have is to buy BA. I would wager that the fares will fall significantly once Aegean release inventory, especially as CWS notes there will be those who really can't be flexible with dates but who can be flexible with price...
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Old Jun 19, 18, 7:03 pm
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Personally, Id be flying Aegean on that route rather than BA. Currently a much nicer experience in either cabin.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 7:09 am
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Just as an FYI, the outbound fares didnt reduce at all even after Aegean released availabity. Presumably this is down to it being the UK Easter weekend?
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Old Nov 1, 18, 7:14 am
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Originally Posted by Bobbie2013 View Post
Just as an FYI, the outbound fares didnt reduce at all even after Aegean released availabity. Presumably this is down to it being the UK Easter weekend?
Do the two flights with M Class availability not come in cheaper than they were back in June?

1 LHR ATH 0855 1435 BA 640 J9 C8 D4 RC IC Y9 B9 H9 K9 M7 320 C*E
B LC VC NC OC QC SC G0
2 LHR ATH 1155 1740 BA 638 J9 C8 D4 RC IC Y9 B9 H9 K9 MC 320 C*E
B LC VC NC OC QC SC G0
3 LHR ATH 1315 1855 BA 632 J9 C9 D5 RC IC Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 320 C*E
B LC VC NC OC QC SC G0
4 LHR ATH 2050#0225 BA 634 J9 C8 D3 RC IC Y9 B9 H9 K8 MC 320 C*E
B LC VC NC OC QC SC G0
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Old Nov 1, 18, 7:24 am
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Originally Posted by Tafflyer View Post
Personally, Id be flying Aegean on that route rather than BA. Currently a much nicer experience in either cabin.
How does that help if he wants Tier Points?

I suspect that as Greek Orthodox Easter is one week after Western Easter that may have something to do with it.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 10:18 am
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE View Post
How does that help if he wants Tier Points?
Not at all.

Personally, I prefer the added comfort and service to a few TP but horses for courses. It's a substantial flight and I find BA's sub-Ryanair legroom for 4 hours not at all appealing. As it turns out, A3 is also extremely expensive for that period. A brief look at Avios availability does show flights around, though not exactly on those dates, so I do suspect prices are still being artificially held high by airlines and will drop closer to the date. Takes nerves to play that game though.

If you are prepared to fly indirect, you can fly LHR-(LH)-MUC-(A3)-ATH in business for under GBP 400 return, which is around half of what either BA or A3 are asking for direct flights.
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Old Nov 2, 18, 6:52 am
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I agree, A3 are also expensive over those dates. The combination of Roman and Orthodox Easter is almost certainly the cause as there's nothing else remarkable or untoward happening in either place.
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