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DL: US to Europe < 7 days, Ticket Price Workaround?

DL: US to Europe < 7 days, Ticket Price Workaround?

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Old Apr 15, 19, 2:35 pm
  #1  
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DL: US to Europe < 7 days, Ticket Price Workaround?

I frequently fly out of FAR or MSP to Europe. Most trips are 5-7 days. I've been doing this for years - and I always run into the same problem: Flights less than 7 days are at least 2x the price as a 7+ day trip!

The only good workaround I've found is booking trips in opposing pairs. Example: an April 1-5 trip and a May 1-5 trip.
  • Ticket 1: A-B April 1 and B-A May 5
  • Ticket 2: B-A April 5 April and A-B May 1
This makes both trips > 7 days. I can often book two tickets like this for the price of one! But it's tough if I don't have two consecutive trips to book.

Does anyone have any other tips? (Must be on Skyteam)

Also - any idea why the < 7 day trips are so expensive? Appears not to be taxes/fees, it looks like Delta is gouging workweek business travelers
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Old Apr 15, 19, 2:58 pm
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Welcome to FlyerTalk! This is called back-to-back or nested ticketing and unfortunately it's specifically prohibited by Delta's contract of carriage -- rule 16c here: https://www.delta.com/us/en/legal/co...f-carriage-dgr

That said if you do it once or twice, most likely nothing will happen. If you make a habit of it, Delta may take action against you, which could include such things as shutting down your SkyMiles account and voiding all your miles, and/or conceivably even trying to force you to pay the "avoided" fare.

If you have a long enough sequence of trips, you could do the same thing on multiple airlines with no problem -- book the "outside" trip on United, say, and then the "inside" trip(s) on Delta. But that can interfere with trying to earn status on a single airline, of course.

You could also extend one of your single-week trips to fly out on Saturday night, or come home the following Sunday, at the cost of a good chunk of your weekend. The trigger for the cheaper fares is usually whether the trip covers over a Saturday night. The value of that depends what these trips are for and who is paying.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 2:59 pm
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The cheapest European fares in almost every case will require a roundtrip purchase with either a Saturday night stay (from point of arrival, which means you have to actually depart on a Friday to meet it) or a 7-day day minimum stay. If you click on the "fare rules" link when pricing out these fare, these requirements will be listed in them. Yes, this is price discrimination aimed at business travelers who typically have greater ability to spend and want to be home weekends with family. Used to be quite common on domestic routes too until the growth of the LCC's like Southwest where all roundtrips tickets are just a combination of two one-way fares (and roundtrip fares can still be found on many routes where there is no LCC competition). What you are doing is actually a prohibited ticketing practice (back-to-back ticketing to avoid minimum stay requirements). Only rarely have they actually gone after to people for this (it's typically only done in extreme cases where someone does it on a habitual basis).

Last edited by xliioper; Apr 15, 19 at 4:08 pm
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Old Apr 15, 19, 5:02 pm
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Get an ExpertFlyer subscription. Read the fare rules for your airport pair, all dates, cheapest to most expensive, until you find a set of restrictions you can live with. (Yes, it's probably a Sat night stay that's getting you.) Sticking it to business travelers has been the goal of airline Revenue Management since fares were deregulated forty years ago. Business travelers are thought of as generally insensitive to price - spending other people's money, as it were.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 5:52 pm
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Often I see fare rules that require a Saturday night stay, not a seven day stay. There are worse places to spend a weekend day than Europe, and the saving on airfare can easily pay for your additional lodging and meal costs. Plus, sometimes it's nice to have a day to relax and recover from jetlag before trying to do too much.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 7:01 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Often I see fare rules that require a Saturday night stay, not a seven day stay. There are worse places to spend a weekend day than Europe, and the saving on airfare can easily pay for your additional lodging and meal costs. Plus, sometimes it's nice to have a day to relax and recover from jetlag before trying to do too much.
Yes, but after the 20th or 30th or 50th Sunday in e.g. - Frankfurt Germany, some people just want to get in and get out, That is what I have become. Too much time away from family.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 7:05 pm
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Originally Posted by jaker555 View Post
..........it looks like Delta is gouging workweek business travelers
Which is the business model of all commercial airlines. Charge more for business flyers than leisure flyers.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 7:43 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Often I see fare rules that require a Saturday night stay, not a seven day stay. There are worse places to spend a weekend day than Europe, and the saving on airfare can easily pay for your additional lodging and meal costs. Plus, sometimes it's nice to have a day to relax and recover from jetlag before trying to do too much\

There are fares that require one, or the other, or either/or. A Sat-Sat trip will meet 7-day min-stay fare requirements, but not Sat-night stay fare requirement (because you arrive on a Sunday). A Fri-Thu trip will meet Sat-night requirement, but not 7-day min stay. Either trip will generally be much cheaper than a Sat-Fri trip where you meet neither.

FAR-CDG May 10-16 (Fri-Thu) $1623 (Saturday night stay)
FAR-CDG May 11-18 (Sat-Sat) $1683 (7-day min stay)
FAR-CDG May 11-17 (Sat-Fri) $3733 (neither -- you get M fares)

Last edited by xliioper; Apr 15, 19 at 7:56 pm
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