Catching Earlier Flights

Old Dec 12, 15, 6:55 am
  #1  
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Catching Earlier Flights

I'm currently in Kuwait. I plan to be done with business meetings earlier than I anticipated and I was thinking about heading to the airport to potentially catch an earlier flight back to DXB (same day flight just earlier time). I'm flying J. Does anyone know if EK will allow you to take an earlier flight without charging a change fee (I'm not on a flex ticket)? Assuming they don't I guess my best option is to sit in the club for a few hours longer than I normally would.
thanks
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Old Dec 12, 15, 7:08 am
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Unfortunately they won't - you'll be charged the fare difference and change fee.
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Old Dec 12, 15, 9:53 am
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Originally Posted by eternaltransit View Post
Unfortunately they won't - you'll be charged the fare difference and change fee.
One time ba wins. They let you move to earlier flights ime.
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Old Dec 12, 15, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by eternaltransit View Post
Unfortunately they won't - you'll be charged the fare difference and change fee.
This seems to go against profitability logic.

Nevertheless, they might want to avoid people checking loads, and choosing a later cheaper flight in hope of getting on an earlier more expensive flight.
I don't know if that's it.

Anyway, I just got off an overbooked short haul, where some have been downgraded. They would be pleased to discover that some were denied to take an earlier flight ...
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Old Dec 12, 15, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by ioto1902 View Post
This seems to go against profitability logic.

Nevertheless, they might want to avoid people checking loads, and choosing a later cheaper flight in hope of getting on an earlier more expensive flight.
I don't know if that's it.

Anyway, I just got off an overbooked short haul, where some have been downgraded. They would be pleased to discover that some were denied to take an earlier flight ...
EK simply don't care - making too much cash, not interested in customer service
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Old Dec 12, 15, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by ioto1902 View Post
This seems to go against profitability logic.

Nevertheless, they might want to avoid people checking loads, and choosing a later cheaper flight in hope of getting on an earlier more expensive flight.
I don't know if that's it.

Anyway, I just got off an overbooked short haul, where some have been downgraded. They would be pleased to discover that some were denied to take an earlier flight ...
I disagree - this is completely logical from a revenue management position. In fact, your 2nd paragraph explains why: protection of product.

Different ticket types exist which try and differentiate products whilst selling the same aircraft seat - there is an actual monetary value to things such as flexibility and refundability. To give something away for free which clearly can be sold for (quite substantial in some cases) revenue, is poor revenue management.

To allow same day changes for free - which clearly has some demand, given the OPs question - undermines the value of the flex and flex plus products. You may sacrifice immediate incidental and incremental revenue, but the bigger picture is loss of incremental revenue from pax who would usually purchase higher fare classes when restricted ones are available who now switch to the restricted fare and gamble.

NZ for instance, has a not quite fully flex product which allows same day of travel changes for domestic sectors. EK, given the nature of its operations, prefers to keep a more centralised and strict control over its inventory - it probably keeps their forecasting system more accurate.

This is exactly why exact flight loads are now no longer available to crew until around 72 hours to departure - Gold/Plat pax who had crew friends would ask their friends to check flights far in advance and buy restricted savers confident in getting op-ups. There is no coincidence that some of the most restricted EK fares have 3 day advance purchase requirements

If you want the ability to take any flights on day of purchase, there is a product available for that - anything else is a favor from the airline to you, because the airline doesn't think in terms of individual pax and one flight, but revenue on a route over a particular timescale and the profitability of each customer segment as a whole: e.g. every J/F pax who doesn't visit the lounge is probably resulting in more bottom-line flow through than someone who is willing to pay a little but not a lot to change flights on the day
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Old Dec 13, 15, 5:15 am
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Thanks for the responses. Sounds much like U.S. carriers in that respect. Unfortunate in this case for EK, because if it were only say a $100USD change fee, I likely would have paid it. But a $400USD fee and fare difference just means they won't get any of my money and I'll sit in their lounge longer than I would have...although in Kuwait they don't have to worry about me drinking all of their expensive alcohol!!!
thanks
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Old Dec 13, 15, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by m3red View Post
One time ba wins. They let you move to earlier flights ime.
Never in my experience. The only time I've heard of them doing it is when it suits them, ie. when the original is overbooked.
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Old Dec 13, 15, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
Never in my experience. The only time I've heard of them doing it is when it suits them, ie. when the original is overbooked.
I should have said earlier connecting flight from t5.
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Old Dec 13, 15, 9:06 am
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Originally Posted by badgersfly View Post
Thanks for the responses. Sounds much like U.S. carriers in that respect. Unfortunate in this case for EK, because if it were only say a $100USD change fee, I likely would have paid it. But a $400USD fee and fare difference just means they won't get any of my money and I'll sit in their lounge longer than I would have...although in Kuwait they don't have to worry about me drinking all of their expensive alcohol!!!
thanks
Particularly true with Lufthansa.
I have seen earlier intra euro flights depart half empty and they still refused the change, paying instead my 5 more hours in their SEN lounge.
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Old Dec 13, 15, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by Forrest Bump View Post
Particularly true with Lufthansa.
I have seen earlier intra euro flights depart half empty and they still refused the change, paying instead my 5 more hours in their SEN lounge.
Revenue management at any airline won't care about lounge use: lounges are a different cost center and don't affect their metrics

Plus, there are enough people who are entitled to lounge access who don't use it to more than cover the cost of people spending an extra few hours in a lounge - you're not going to get through more than 20 dollars an hour worth of perishables in most lounges.
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Old Dec 14, 15, 2:13 am
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Seems like my experience with SAA is a little unusual reading the comments here. I've very often changed around my connecting flights JNB - CPT after an international arrival into JNB. Both earlier where my connection was several hours away and I requested an earlier flight (in one case a flight departing in 25 mins, had to run but arrived CPT 4 hours earlier than scheduled), in many other cases inbound delayed and missed the connection. Never an issue, always rebooked on next available (usually the next one out).

That route is pretty much like a bus route though with >20 daily flights.
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Old Dec 14, 15, 5:07 am
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Only had one experience with trying to catch an earlier flight and this was with UL.
Due to weird tickets and routing, I had a 24 stopover in Bangkok. Some to the desk when it opened for a morning flight and asked about changing from the evening flight to the afternoon flight. Couple of clicks of a mouse and a new boarding card was printed for me.
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