What's up with LY's fare volatility?

Old Jul 14, 04, 11:49 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,312
What's up with LY's fare volatility?

My fiance is studying in Jerusalem for the year. I'm keeping an eye on the TLV-NYC fares to bring her home for her winter break (perhaps a bit obsessively), and spotted a student fare for $679+ ($756 all-in) r/t on www.elal.co.il a week or so ago. I checked with my fiance that night. She approved, but when I looked the next day (to buy it) it was gone.

Suddenly the cheapest fare was $2400+. I called LY's NYC office, and they were puzzled as well, since they knew a $1500+ fare to exist (which I could find on travelocity and beta.itasoftware.com) but couldn't access it. They could see that there had been a $679+ student fare, too, but couldn't access that either (just the $2400+ I was seeing). They surmised that maybe the programmers were updating the fares, so I figured I'd wait and hope $679+ came back.

A couple days later a few more fares showed up, with the cheapest back at $1500+, and it stayed that way for a few more days.

Now tonight it's suddenly showing availability from $879+ with nonavailable fares starting at $729--student or not. Earlier today it was still showing the $1500+ fare.

I know most airlines constantly update their fares and all, but this seems a bit ridiculous. I still have plenty of time, obviously, but I'd love to get that $679+ fare for the ideal dates/flights and not have to worry that my backups (LX, BA, and maybe TK) will raise their prices, too.

Any thoughts?
themicah is offline  
Old Jul 15, 04, 10:08 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,129
What about Israir? Or Alitalia? My cousin just flew with them. Apparently OK Czech have low fares.
Bretteee is offline  
Old Jul 15, 04, 10:39 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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I can't ever get Israir's crappy website to work. I mean, LY's is pretty bad--it only really displays properly in IE for Windows, which is a horrible browser--but Israir's is terrible. Israirairlines.com barely even displays in IE, and I've never been able to get it to show me a fare when I put in dates. No matter what dates, no flights are available.

[aside: what's the deal with Israeli webmasters making their sites so IE/Windows specific? Is frontpage the only web-design program that's been ported to Hebrew or something?]

But Israir's fares don't seem all that hot anyway, starting at around $937+ (I assume that's not all-in) for off-peak times, and going up around Sukkot, etc.

I've seen some decent fares on Alitalia (especially when you toss DL codeshares in the mix), but TK, BA, and even LX are cheaper for the dates we want. Plus on LX she can fly AA metal from ZRH to JFK, which has more legroom. And there are lots of AA miles to earn on LX and TK (a few on BA, too). Alitalia may earn NW miles by the time December rolls around, but that's very unclear, and I wouldn't be surprised if the cheap fares earned significantly less than 100%.

As for Czech, it's actually slightly cheaper for the dates we want than TK or BA (just over $700 all-in). But the 16 hour layover on the way back makes it pretty unattractive. PRG's a great city and all, but...

But thanks for the suggestions! While I keep shootin' 'em down, I do appreciate 'em!

Any tips about LY's fare tendencies would also be appreciated.
themicah is offline  
Old Jul 18, 04, 6:54 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,129
I agree with you. If one is flying coach, AA is the best. The extra legroom is a pure pleasure. The food is also edible. However I did not find the crews very pleasant on my last 2 flights from London to JFK.
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