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Can anyone explain very odd KLM pricing on Italy-Canada flights?

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May 10th, 2010, 12:30 PM
  #1
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Can anyone explain very odd KLM pricing on Italy-Canada flights?

Why is it so much cheaper to fly KLM round-trip from Italy to Canada than to take the same flights in the reverse direction? Has anyone else had this strange experience?

No, it can't be because of currency fluctuations: KLM's (like Air France's) online prices vary throughout the day, with changes in the exchange rate.

Today I was in touch with my dear pal Roberto in Milan. I asked whether he and his wife could come to Canada in August and spend some time at the lake with us. As an inducement , I offered 2 KLM tickets Milan-Montreal return (or returning from Toronto, if they want to sightsee).

In the second half of August, these economy-class tickets are priced today at 712 Euros each (up from 702 Euros a couple of days ago). At current rates, that is about $930 Cdn. The rate is on offer for most days in the second half of August.

Roberto responded regretfully that he can't make any summer plans just now, because he has to finish his book.

So I got on the KLM website and plotted the same route in reverse, thinking I might go visit him. (We had scant time together when we were in Milan in March).

From Canada, the same trip on the same flights costs $1115. BTW, that price is consistent throughout the month of August.

Huh? That's almost $200 difference, ie a 20% premium above the fares for a trip from Italy.

Any explanations? Is this normal?
tedgale is offline  
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May 10th, 2010, 12:35 PM
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Its just what price the airlines will get in each market. Last year it was the opposite, RT from the US to Europe were running a few hundred less than Europe-US.
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May 10th, 2010, 12:38 PM
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Yes, it's normal. In theory, this reflects the concept that KLM is trying to entice Italian travelers to Canada (demand is lower on the Italian side) more than it is trying to entice Canadian travelers to Italy (demand is higher on the Canadian side). Whether this corresponds to the reality of the situation is another matter, although most likely it does.
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May 10th, 2010, 12:41 PM
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yup that's a marketing decision i would think

air fares often make little rhyme or reason

Like my friends who found that it was cheaper to fly from the States to Venice via a change of planes in Paris then it would have been to just fly to Paris and terminate trip there. Figure that one out!
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May 10th, 2010, 12:46 PM
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That's easy. A nonstop flight tends to be cheaper than one with connections. Thus, a nonstop flight to Paris could easily be worth more in terms of higher demand than a 1-connection flight to Venice. That's not even considering the relative demand to visit each city.
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May 10th, 2010, 12:50 PM
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I'm familiar with longer/ connecting flights costing less than one leg of the flight: It is very common on Air France, for example: Paris is often the highest-cost destination in the "metropole". You can fly onward to Nice or Marseille or Toulouse for less than the Canada-Paris return fare.

I was quite unaware that identical flights would be priced differently depending on country of origin.

Now, what would happen if I tried to get someone to buy me a r/t tkt from "over there"??? Would I pay the Cdn or the Italian price??
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May 10th, 2010, 12:55 PM
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You can't do it, at least not online - as soon as you try it will redirect you to your national site. the drop down menu for your starting airport only allows those in Italy on the KLM Italy site.

Some years it's cheaper from Europe, some years it's cheaper from Canada or the US.

Direct flights are the most popular so all airlines charge more for them.
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