$1 base fare???

Old Nov 19, 20, 7:10 pm
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$1 base fare???

I just booked an international trip for next summer (fingers crossed!).

The receipt shows the base fare as $1, with $500+ falling under "carrier-imposed international surcharge (YR)." Taxes and other fees imposed by the US and the destination country are disclosed and not unusual.

Can someone please explain the logic behind this pricing methodology? At first glance, it makes no sense to me, but what do I know.

Thanks!
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Old Nov 19, 20, 7:40 pm
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Mistake? Or a sale due to low demand? DL still gets the $500 "fuel surcharge" fee.
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Old Nov 19, 20, 7:48 pm
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Where to? I may be interested in this!
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Old Nov 19, 20, 7:50 pm
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I believe it has to do somewhat with perception - the airlines know most passengers don’t know/care-look at which fees are govt imposed versus which ones are imposed by the airline and which go to the airlines’ pockets. It makes it look like you got a great deal but your ticket was still $500 due to factors (costs) outside of the airline’s control (which isn’t entirely true since that surcharge is imposed by and pocketed by the airline).
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Old Nov 19, 20, 7:51 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Mistake? Or a sale due to low demand? DL still gets the $500 "fuel surcharge" fee.
It is a really good fare, but I'm not sure it falls into mistake territory - the total price isn't off normal pricing by an order of magnitude or anything. I just don't understand why the airline is playing around with the fare buckets like that. Is there some cancellation rule that might let the airline get away with refusing to refund fees and surcharges?
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Last edited by M60_to_LGA; Nov 19, 20 at 8:06 pm
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Old Nov 19, 20, 7:52 pm
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Originally Posted by KRUXED View Post
Where to? I may be interested in this!
JFK-TLV, late July-late August.
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Old Nov 19, 20, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by M60_to_LGA View Post
It is a really good fare, but I'm not sure it falls into mistake territory - the total price isn't off normal pricing by an order of magnitude or anything. I just don't understand why the airline is playing around with the fare buckets like that. Is there some cancellation rule that might let the airline get away with refusing to refund fares and surcharges?
Not sure how this is "playing around with the fare buckets". I've booked numerous fares over the years with a base in the 10's of dollars. DL currently has $1 base fares on JFK-LHR and $50 base on JFK-CDG. These are not mistake fares. YR surcharge sets a base (things like corporate discounts don't apply to them), so the airlines are still getting some money from them which is why they offer such fares from time to time when demand is particularly low or competition is high.

Last edited by xliioper; Nov 19, 20 at 8:13 pm
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Old Nov 19, 20, 8:16 pm
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Originally Posted by M60_to_LGA View Post
Can someone please explain the logic behind this pricing methodology? At first glance, it makes no sense to me, but what do I know.
It's so that if you book this as an award ticket, DL can "justify" charging you hundreds of dollars in addition to the miles by claiming it's a fee they charge on every ticket instead of the base fare. To be fair, DL is far from alone in this shady practice.
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Old Nov 19, 20, 8:16 pm
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Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
Not sure how this is "playing around with the fare buckets". I've booked numerous fares over the years with a base in the 10's of dollars. DL currently has $1 base fares on JFK-LHR and $50 base on JFK-CDG. These are not mistake fares. YR surcharge sets a base (things like corporate discounts don't apply to them), so the airlines are still getting some money from them which is why they offer such fares from time to time when demand is particularly low or competition is high.
Ah - if corporate discounts don't apply to the surcharges, then that does make sense. Thanks!
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Old Nov 19, 20, 8:22 pm
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Originally Posted by LoganFlyer View Post
It's so that if you book this as an award ticket, DL can "justify" charging you hundreds of dollars in addition to the miles by claiming it's a fee they charge on every ticket instead of the base fare. To be fair, DL is far from alone in this shady practice.
They are only somewhat tangentially related. There's no award surcharges on awards ex-US (either one-way or roundtrip). YR surcharges are charged regardless of origin. YR surcharges also differs from the amount charged on award tickets.
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Old Nov 19, 20, 8:44 pm
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Originally Posted by M60_to_LGA View Post
The receipt shows the base fare as $1, with $500+ falling under "carrier-imposed international surcharge (YR)." Taxes and other fees imposed by the US and the destination country are disclosed and not unusual.
$1 base fares (or 2 x $0.50 for a r/t ticket) are pretty common for TATL flights Europe-US (in basic economy, lowest booking class). YR/YQ will generally still be a few hundred dollars.

How airlines spread the ticket price between base fare and the fantasy surcharges YR/YQ is anybody's guess. I suppose the YR/YQ gives some sort of internal consistency, as you'll have to pay it even on award tickets (of course, the customer pays no base fare for awards).
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Old Nov 19, 20, 9:11 pm
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As mentioned above, it's all about corporate contracts. Some corporate contracts specify a negotiated discount off the fare, but not the "fuel surcharge", so....

Having said that, $692 R/T is a very, very, good fare for the DL non-stops.
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Old Nov 21, 20, 9:49 pm
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I flew this lovely (public) fare last year from BOS to LHR. Not $1, but $8 base fare.

Price 8.00
Carrier-imposed international surcharge 130.00
US international transportation tax 37.20
UK international/domestic Airport Passenger Service Charge 24.43
Airport Passenger Service Charge 15.69
Security service charge 13.01
US INS user fee 7.00
US customs user fee 5.77
USA passenger civil aviation security service fee 5.60
USA passenger facility charge 4.50
US APHIS fee 3.96
Price (per passenger) 255.16
BOS-LHR (VS) -> LHR-AMS (KL) -> AMS-BOS (DL) on 074 (KL) stock. Also got DL miles on all segments, even though I wasn't supposed to
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Old Nov 22, 20, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
I flew this lovely (public) fare last year from BOS to LHR. Not $1, but $8 base fare.



BOS-LHR (VS) -> LHR-AMS (KL) -> AMS-BOS (DL) on 074 (KL) stock. Also got DL miles on all segments, even though I wasn't supposed to
Wait, what?? $255 for a transatlantic round-trip with a European segment as well??? How did that happen??? I'm jealous.
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Old Nov 22, 20, 11:08 am
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Which is all why I could care less what the breakdown is. Bottom line is what does it cost for me to get a boarding pass? How and why tha number is broken down is less than relevant.
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