Can you explain this to me (fares)

Mar 30th, 2008, 11:49 AM
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Can you explain this to me (fares)

Looking for tickets for the first of Dec 08 depart from FLorida, arrive Vienna, return trip from Munich. Delta 1 stop 869.48 including taxes, NWA 2 stops 758.30. Continental over $3000.00 2 stops. I find this mind boggling how can fares be so far off from each other? You would have to be nuts to chose the 3000.00 ticket how do they sell them when other airlines are so much cheaper? Just wondering.
klm_cip is offline  
Mar 30th, 2008, 12:38 PM
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Dec 08 is so far away CO doesn't really have any incentive to lower the fares yet. If someone is nuts enough to buy a ticket on CO at that price, more power to CO.

Each airline has their own pricing/timing business practice. You can be sure that CO's price will at some point come more in line with market conditions - just not 8mo in advance.
J62 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2008, 01:27 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Buying tickets is giving me a big headache. In the mean time the low fares seem to creep up a little every few days. I guess I will just buy them and get it over with so I can focus on the more enjoyable part of planning. In fact the NWA flight I was looking at is no longer available this afternoon and Delta is now the cheapest. We use them last year to Italy and the seats DID NOT recline at all, and no screens on the backs of the seat. But I guess I will have to suffer since they appear to be the cheapest currently.
klm_cip is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 11:48 AM
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I wouldn't buy the ticket now. That Continental fare implies that, as J62 pointed out, the airlines are not yet competing for your business. There usually are sale fares for that time of travel (esp. if you are returning before Dec 12).

If you decide to buy now then you should check the airline's policy should the fare go lower. You should expect that they would refund the difference in the fare minus a $100 or $200 change fee; an option to that would be to get a voucher equal to the difference in the fares.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 12:08 PM
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Continental flies to neither Vienna and Munich. They rely on their partners AF and KL to give them cheap fares so they can resale. So, their fares may not be as competitive to start with.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 12:27 PM
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But not four times higher.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 12:33 PM
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Right, of course not. The others have explained correctly the main reason.

I'm just adding that even if the OP waits until after summer, he/she may not see CO having the same or lower price than other airlines on this market.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 03:37 AM
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Every business person knows that it is easy to cut prices but difficult to raise them. Continental may not expect to sell any $3,000 seats today. As flight time nears, prices will come to the market price.
GSteed is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 03:38 AM
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Some airlines acquire operating cash by selling seats long before they will be used.
GSteed is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 05:43 AM
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The only tickets Continental seems to be listing are H fares, a full tourist fare that is, generally, refundable. That class of fares is always substantially more than the deep discounted non refundable tourist fares we are used to seeking. A multiple of four times the cost for such a fare is far from abnormal.

I don't know if Continental will ever offer deep discounted unrefundable fares on their partner airlines; I suspect that depends on the agreement between the airlines.

I agree that it is very early to be looking for a great fare in December. I suggest picking a price you will be very happy with, and but immediately if that price shows up. Who knows when someone will offer a sale, or worry about empty seats? If your dream price hasn't shown up by sometime in, say, September, start looking for the best price and grab it. I wouldn't wait past about the end of October, as you may start running into full planes and increasing prices.

I'm not certain, but I suspect getting an open jaw ticket involving multiple airlines may complicate the purchase, and you may have a better chance of getting a low price by finding a single airline that covers the whole route.

I suggest you discount your bad experience with Delta. I don't know what their in-flight entertainment is like now, but many airlines are upgrading it, and seats that won't recline are pretty rare. I think you just ended up in bad or broken seats. Check the airline's site, and some services like Seatguru to see what the seating facilities are on the various planes flown by the airlines.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 06:31 AM
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Just curious, what city in Florida and what are your travel dates?
BeachBoi is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 09:05 AM
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Unfortunately, DL's 763s used for ATL-MUC/VIE don't have seatback entertainment and won't until possibly 2010 at the earliest. As far as seats not reclining, were you in front of the exit row?
Patty is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 11:19 AM
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What the OP can do if Continental is the preferred airline, is to get a roundtrip fare to AMS or CDG. Put the reservations on hold by using the "Pay By Cash" option, and then call's web support desk at (800)300-1547, and have them add a AF or KL flight to your destination.

When you search on, they only give you CO codeshare fares on those intra-Europe flight, but if you call, you can get ANY fare available on AF or KL.

I see FLL-AMS fares to be around $800 for Decemeber. It's still not going to be cheaper than what you find on DL or NW.
rkkwan is offline  
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