Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles
Reload this Page >

Weird international pricing (forced Refundable?)

Weird international pricing (forced Refundable?)

Old Nov 30, 21, 1:44 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: ATL
Programs: DL - PM (Sky Priority);HH - Gold; Marriott - Silver; National - Executive; DL Reserve AMEX
Posts: 5,149
Weird international pricing (forced Refundable?)

Hey everyone-

I recently purchased a multi-city trip to Europe for summer 2022. Going into one city and flying back from another. Everything went great. Used Pay With Miles, etc.

Our friends were waiting to see about the cost maybe going down and they looked today at the same flights and the cheapest Economy is "Refundable Main" in "K" Fare... and is nearly twice the price ($1,700 for me vs. $3,200 for them). Any reason why that is happening? Seems like an astronomical cost increase and doesn't make much sense.

Is there a bug that is "forcing" people into refundable main today?
MikeyZBT is offline  
Old Nov 30, 21, 1:53 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: RDU
Programs: Hhonors Gold, DL PM
Posts: 335
Pricing can be weird sometimes.

But one possible explanation is there’s going to be a schedule change this weekend (airplane substitution, etc.) and they’re restricting the fare classes in preparation for that.
AviationFreak is offline  
Old Nov 30, 21, 2:26 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 19,147
Could be there is no longer bucket inventory in cheaper fare classes on flights (or there is not enough seats in cheaper buckets for the number of passengers they are trying to book at once which will force everyone into a higher fare class). It would be helpful to know dates and flights as bucket inventory availability can be looked up on EF (it's also possible to look up historical fare filings on EF if there were fare filing changes). The carriers have a lot of relatively cheap refundable fares since Covid hit when they waived changed fees and it could be every fare filing K or higher is a refundable fare.
writerguyfl and AsiaTraveler like this.

Last edited by xliioper; Nov 30, 21 at 2:43 pm
xliioper is offline  
Old Nov 30, 21, 3:00 pm
  #4  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 99,027
Originally Posted by MikeyZBT View Post
Hey everyone-

I recently purchased a multi-city trip to Europe for summer 2022. Going into one city and flying back from another. Everything went great. Used Pay With Miles, etc.

Our friends were waiting to see about the cost maybe going down and they looked today at the same flights and the cheapest Economy is "Refundable Main" in "K" Fare... and is nearly twice the price ($1,700 for me vs. $3,200 for them). Any reason why that is happening? Seems like an astronomical cost increase and doesn't make much sense.

Is there a bug that is "forcing" people into refundable main today?
I'm wondering whether there's a glitch since fare class K normally isn't refundable. OTOH a RT TATL fare of $3200 could be a B or Y class fare.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Nov 30, 21, 4:45 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 3,360
Was this pricing just seen once when checked or has it remained across multiple checks spanning more than a day? Revenue management isn't done in real time. Pricing is updated multiple times each day via a batch process.

This pricing anomaly might be due to what xliioper explained. Once the revenue management software runs again, it's possible that the out-of-whack pricing will get resolved.
writerguyfl is offline  
Old Nov 30, 21, 6:36 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 19,147
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I'm wondering whether there's a glitch since fare class K normally isn't refundable. OTOH a RT TATL fare of $3200 could be a B or Y class fare.
It no longer works that way. They have a whole series of refundable fares these days starting out with the lowest V fares. For TATL flying, the fare differential for the refundable version of the main cabin fares is generally $100 more each-way than the non-refundable version. For example, non-refundable VH2J97M2 main cabin V fares on JFK-CDG go for $1230.07 roundtrip and the refundable version of these V fares (fare basis VH2H97M2) go for $1430.07 roundtrip. In this particular case, there are both non-refundable and refundable K fares on this route (KH2J50M2 and KH2H50M2) for $2005.07 and $2205.07 roundtrip, respectively. 4th letter of fare basis code indicates whether fare is non-refundable (J) or refundable (H). 5th letter is advance purchase requirement (9 is 90-day and 5 is 50-day). 6th letter is minimum stay for roundtrip fares (7 is 7-days, and 0 is 12 hour min-stay).
Mountain Explorer, milski and hhdl like this.

Last edited by xliioper; Nov 30, 21 at 6:55 pm
xliioper is offline  
Old Nov 30, 21, 6:40 pm
  #7  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 99,027
If there's K class availability, shouldn't it be possible to use any K class fare that applies (advanced purchase, minimum stay, etc.), including nonrefundable? Or are there subclasses of fare class availability associated with specific fares?
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Nov 30, 21, 6:53 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 19,147
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
If there's K class availability, shouldn't it be possible to use any K class fare that applies (advanced purchase, minimum stay, etc.), including nonrefundable? Or are there subclasses of fare class availability associated with specific fares?
Assuming there are both non-refundable and refundable K fares it should be possible to book the non-refundable ones if there is K inventory open. But there's a possibility that all K fare filings are refundable. You'd have to know the routes involved to check the fare filings on EF.
xliioper is offline  
Old Nov 30, 21, 8:18 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: ATL
Programs: DL - PM (Sky Priority);HH - Gold; Marriott - Silver; National - Executive; DL Reserve AMEX
Posts: 5,149
The flights are ATL-BCN on 5/27/21 and LHR-ATL on 6/13/21.
MikeyZBT is offline  
Old Nov 30, 21, 8:21 pm
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: ATL
Programs: DL - PM (Sky Priority);HH - Gold; Marriott - Silver; National - Executive; DL Reserve AMEX
Posts: 5,149
Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
Could be there is no longer bucket inventory in cheaper fare classes on flights (or there is not enough seats in cheaper buckets for the number of passengers they are trying to book at once which will force everyone into a higher fare class). It would be helpful to know dates and flights as bucket inventory availability can be looked up on EF (it's also possible to look up historical fare filings on EF if there were fare filing changes). The carriers have a lot of relatively cheap refundable fares since Covid hit when they waived changed fees and it could be every fare filing K or higher is a refundable fare.
The flights are ATL-BCN on 5/27/21 and LHR-ATL on 6/13/21.
MikeyZBT is offline  
Old Nov 30, 21, 9:00 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 19,147
Originally Posted by MikeyZBT View Post
The flights are ATL-BCN on 5/27/21 and LHR-ATL on 6/13/21.
Are both flights non-stop? DL194 on 5/27 currently only has K and higher bucket open. Return non-stop flights for LHR-ATL on 6/13 are wide open for inventory. When I do multi-city search on delta.com for these dates, I get non-refundable K outbound and T return fares for $1924 roundtrip in main cabin ($1774 in Basic Economy as upcharge for main cabin fares is $75 each way). Upfaring to refundable K and T fares results in $2124 roundtrip price. Flights are K9 and T9, so you can book up to 9 tickets on one PNR at these prices.

Last edited by xliioper; Nov 30, 21 at 9:19 pm
xliioper is offline  
Old Nov 30, 21, 10:25 pm
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: ATL
Programs: DL - PM (Sky Priority);HH - Gold; Marriott - Silver; National - Executive; DL Reserve AMEX
Posts: 5,149
Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
Are both flights non-stop? DL194 on 5/27 currently only has K and higher bucket open. Return non-stop flights for LHR-ATL on 6/13 are wide open for inventory. When I do multi-city search on delta.com for these dates, I get non-refundable K outbound and T return fares for $1924 roundtrip in main cabin ($1774 in Basic Economy as upcharge for main cabin fares is $75 each way). Upfaring to refundable K and T fares results in $2124 roundtrip price. Flights are K9 and T9, so you can book up to 9 tickets on one PNR at these prices.
Thanks. Must've been a bug because it was only allowing VERY expensive refundable K fares to be booked.
MikeyZBT is offline  
Old Dec 2, 21, 3:50 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 3,360
Originally Posted by MikeyZBT View Post
Thanks. Must've been a bug because it was only allowing VERY expensive refundable K fares to be booked.
Probably not a bug but just the limitations of the revenue management system. Another customer might have just purchased tickets and when your friends went to check prices, there was no availability. That issue got resolved once the software did it's batch processing the next time.

If anyone is curious, this isn't a Delta-only issue. As I understand it, every airline uses batch processing. Due to limitations of processing power, revenue management isn't done in real time because the algorithms analyze a staggering number of data points during each run.
writerguyfl is offline  
Old Dec 2, 21, 11:47 am
  #14  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 99,027
My guess is that either the refundable button was clicked or there was a glitch. K class availability should have shown refundable K.
MSPeconomist is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread