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Isn't Eurostar stupid? :)

Old Jun 16th, 2004, 02:00 PM
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Isn't Eurostar stupid? :)

Hi, all

We will take Eurostar from London to Paris in the early morning of 07/21.

From www.eurostar.com, we got the one way ticket price for GBP 149 per ticket(we only need one way, btw). Well, we think this is a little expensive, so we try to take air which is much cheaper. But we find out that it's going to be horrible to get into Luton airport in the early morning. (How much is the taxi fee or car service fee from Kensington?)

At last, then I say, wait a minute, let's try the round trip eurostar ticket. Then we get aound GBP 60 per round trip ticket! Departure time is 06:34 AM of 07/21, returning time is 09:10 AM of 08/25.

Our questions are:

1. How is this possible? Is this normal? 'cause we didn't go through eurostar web site carefully, we're afraid that we missed anything regarding the ticket limitation, etc.

2. If we do buy the round trip eurostar tickets, what can we do about those 2 return tickets from Paris to London? Are there any places we can sell?

3. Are there any web sites for discount eurostar tickets?

Thanks a lot!!

jz166 is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2004, 02:04 PM
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You can't sell the return tickets!

Don't be so greedy, just let them go. I always do this with return flights, just leave it - you've got a good price, served its purpose.

As for reasons why - if you buy a single, the airline/train is technically left with an extra seat to sell to another single journey passenger - you mess up their booking schedules.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2004, 02:05 PM
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I don't know why they price this way.You should by the r/trip tix.and not use return leg.I don't think the tix are transferable.
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 02:06 PM
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I don't know if BMI is a cheap option for that date, but they go out of Heathrow, which is conveniently accessible on the Piccadilly Line, probably near your Kensington hotel. http://www.flybmi.com

If Eurostar is your preferred choice, you are unlikely to get into trouble with this return ticket trick, which is very similar to what occurs with airfares.

You won't be able to resell the unused portion (that would be a good way to get into trouble in any event).

Occasionally some sites seem to run promotions for Eurostar tickets, particularly combined with something else - maybe Lastminute.co.uk does (I'm not sure).
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 02:20 PM
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They are just following the pricing method of major US airlines. The idea is to charge the most business travellers (or their companies) are willing to pay, and then discount for the leisure travellers. What's so shocking about that?
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 02:33 PM
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I cannot resell the return tic? It's ok, I thought it's like the train ticket between NYC and NJ, which anyone can use.

I know the flybmi.com, their early morning schedule is 07:50AM to 10:10AM from LHR to CDG. The price is 36 GBP. That means I probably have to get up at 04:30AM, right? Add the extra transportation cost from London center and into Paris center, I guess it is almost the same as the round trip train tic.

Thanks.
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 02:36 PM
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What surprised me is that the one way tic price is more than double of the round trip tic. You barely see this in major US airlines' price systems.
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 03:20 PM
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Actually, you see that kind of pricing all the time in US airlines.

I just picked a random date, 7/23 Houston (IAH) to Newark (EWR) on Continental.

If I book a return flight on 7/30, I get a roundtrip, non-stop both ways, for ~$340. But I want to fly one-way, I can still get it for $340, but must a connection. To get the non-stop, I have to pay full-fare economy of ~$980 (though they guarantee an upgrade to first class). But the fare is still an economy one-way fare.
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 04:07 PM
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Speaking of interesting pricing schemes. I'm trying to get a US friend of mine to visit me in Oslo from her home in Chicago. So I was playing with travelocity's flexible ticket system... I could get a return ticket Chicago-London on SAS for around $470, which of course means it's Chicago-Copenhagen-London, since SAS's hub is copenhagen. Just for fun I tried a return ticket on the same dates from Chicago-Copenhagen (so probably the same plane just not with that extra flight to London), and the price was around $750 !! Does it make sense, nope. Is it because they want to compete on Chicago-London, sure. But it's still wierd
As another anecdote...on the Calais-Dover ferry I remeber a specific return trip with departure at the time we were leaving and return on friday 2 days later cost us like 10FF, a generic oen-way ticket was like 100FF. As we were on interrail we sure were glad we got the tip about those tickets

Sindre
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 11:39 PM
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OK..it is stupid! Does that make you feel better, jz166?
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Old Jun 17th, 2004, 12:33 AM
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It's to do with the logic of demand, supply and marketability (as perceived by the company, bearing in mind the primary interest of the shareholders). In other words, your logic is not theirs.
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Old Jun 17th, 2004, 01:29 AM
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The major difference between expensive one-way fare and cheap round-trip, other than cost of course, is in flexibility and booking condition. With the former you can change or cancel reservation at will with no financial penalty. With the latter it's fixed itinerary, with probably advance purchase and Saturday stay requirements. No real issue for leisure traveler on set schedule, but really no good for business executive who often needs to change things at last minute to cope with shifting business demands (e.g. negotiation taking longer, need to see another client in Frankfurt). Having said this, in the current business climate, many (or their accounts dept) opt for cheaper tickets and work round their limitations.
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Old Jun 17th, 2004, 08:28 AM
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Of course, the r/t tprice does make me feel good.
Also, the price on Eurostar US site is $120, but it's GBP 59 on UK site. Another way from eurostar try to make more out of US dollar?
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Old Jun 17th, 2004, 08:50 AM
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The pricing is not stupid. You are assuming that the one way should be less than the advance purchase, Saturday night stay over fare. If that was the case, every business person would be buying a one way ticket and bypassing the fare structures.

Let's assume that a R/T full fare is $200, no restrictions, no minimum stay required, fully refundable. The one way ticket has to be 1/2 of this fare, which would make it $100 oterwise it would not make any sense to sell a full, non restrictive R/T fare for $200.

The transportation company also wants to sell some cheap tickets to leisure traveler, so it offers $75 R/T with many, many restrictions, Saturday night stay over, no refunds, and so forth. A one-way ticket cannot be 1/2 of this, because it would defeat the purpose of the above fare structure.
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