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High fares to Europe...

Old Mar 28th, 2004, 04:12 AM
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High fares to Europe...

Usually this time of year is slow for flying to Europe and the fares reflect it. Although there have been a few cheapie fares, not as many as in the past,

Why? My belief is that fewer people are flying to Europe, therefore, fewer flights, therefore, high fares? Does anyone else agree or are there other reasons like fuel prices, etc.? Just curious.
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Old Mar 28th, 2004, 04:41 AM
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Lower demand doesn't equal high fares; it would be just the opposite. The fact is that there is strong demand from people flying to Europe and there are plenty of flights. Higher fuel costs will find their way into fares when airlines see any opportunity to recover them, but the fares you are seeing say more about overall market forces than costs.
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Old Mar 28th, 2004, 04:57 AM
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One other point is that a lot of us are currently flying on very cheap tickets that we bought months ago while British Air was igniting a series of fare wars. Spring and late winter fares to Europe actually seemed lower to me than during the prior year, in many cases.
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Old Mar 28th, 2004, 05:36 AM
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Agree w/flyboy. BA had a strategy that impacted quite a bit air fares for this shoulder travel season. Great offers went on late Jan-early Feb for Spring travel and a lot of people took them. I suspect there remain some good packaged deals (go-today, lastminute, travelocity, vacationexpress, etc...) or an option is flying into London and catching an easyjet.com fare out of London to (fill the blank).

The standing of the dollar, the recent terrorist attack in Madrid, the fuel prices, the US economy, fewer flights; it's all real and it will be inetresting to follow how would all impact this travel season. :-S
 
Old Mar 28th, 2004, 05:59 AM
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I haven't checked the stats, but I expect that you will find that there are MORE people flying to Europe. More now than a year ago when the war in Iraq was starting. Heard a blurb on the radio saying that airline business should be back to pre-9/11 days in early 2005, a year earlier than previously predicted (a sizeable increase of 25% or 35%, vaguely remember the numbers as 780 million/year to a rate of over 1 billion/year).
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Old Mar 28th, 2004, 06:03 AM
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We know so many people who have either just returned from or are about to leave for France. Air France's late winter/early spring fares--which went on sale in February--were just too good for us to pass up. . .seems like many others took the bait too.
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Old Mar 28th, 2004, 06:21 AM
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I found a better fare to London this March than I did two months after 9/11.
We flew BA for $200 rndtrp. as compared to $343 on American (which I thought was a deal) two months after 9/11.
There are good deals out there.
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Old Mar 28th, 2004, 06:22 AM
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If you want cheap fares to Europe, you must act fast and go now. I find lots of cheap fares, with last day of departure on April 4. For example, Houston-Paris for <$350, or Houston-London <$450. But if you leave April 5 or after, it jumps to about $650+.
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Old Mar 28th, 2004, 06:56 AM
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Ab fab if you live in or near Houston and you want to leave at certain times.
All reports indictae that despite the weak dollar, etc., that tourism from the US to Europe will be UP this year...I'm leaving this Friday for Geneva and paid $419 RT but I booked that last August.
Get use to the notion of higher airfares since it is hardly likely they will decrease as everything else increases...2003 is GONE and so are those prices unles you get very lucky and can leave at 3:30 AM!
 
Old Mar 28th, 2004, 07:05 AM
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<<Although there have been a few cheapie fares, not as many as in the past...>

Although I do not work in the air travel industry, I feel quite certain that the difference has nothing to do with the number of people flying. It has to do with constant improvements in computer modeling for how to price seats and how to match the number of available seats in anticipation of demand. The "cheapie fares" which do still exist are (I think) below the price it costs the airlines to operate the flight. It's my feeling that the sales (which "we" here on this forum depend on) are examples of when the computer modeling was not quite on target. In fact, I wince that with every sale, they tweak the computer model just a little better for the next year.

But there ARE times of the year where the airlines will continue to fly planes that are not quite full. I don't think that (below cost) low fares will ever go away entirely.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Mar 28th, 2004, 07:32 AM
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Another factor is the growing global alliances of airlines. Basically, there will be just three main "groups" competing on the trans-Atlantic market now. AA/BA, UA/LH, and CO/NW/DL/KL/AF. Take a route like IAH-CDG. With CO's joining Skyteam soon, they are likely to codeshare with AF's flights, and therefore have 100% of the non-stop market. With no competition, they don't need to lower fares as much as before.

However, trans-Atantic travel is still very cheap in the off-season. My dad's a CO Gold Elite, and he recently flew IAH-CDG for <$350. The actual fare CO takes (excluding tax) is like $250, and they have to give him a nice seat in the Elite part of a 777, give him movies to watch, music to listen to, games to play, 4 meals, and over 20,000 base FF miles, which alone is worth about $200.

You tell me how are they going to make money?
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Old Mar 28th, 2004, 10:30 AM
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Topping, since there are now two of these threads, identical... and this one has more posts.
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Old Mar 28th, 2004, 10:58 AM
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in looking back, altho airfare is considerably higher this year than in ones past, if i average out over the past ten years, i've still only paid roughly $500.00 per ticket from atlanta to wherever.

even if i drop the high (this year's $780 ticket to amsterdam from savannah) and the low ($199 orlando to brussels), i'm still in the $470 average range. i can live with that.

as to the euro, i bought $5000 when it first became official @ .87 and i'm still working off that. it wasn't a lucky guess at the time but rather a convenience factor for future trips. it just worked out well rate wise.

i do feel for the first time traveler and even worse for the second or third timer who was able to luxuriate in cheap fares and cheap prices. but if you hang in there and research diligently, the pendulum will swing back.

just average out!!!
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Old Mar 28th, 2004, 11:26 AM
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When the rates were fixed for the euro among the European currencies on 1/1/99, one euro buys USD$1.21, so it wasn't that far from the rate today. The euro did drop to under 90 US cents a couple of years ago, but betting on currencies is worse than going to Vegas, in my opinion.
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