Please sign in to post.

Airfare discrepencies

I can fly to Istanbul rt for 580 connecting through Amsterdam, but a rt to/from Amsterdam is 850 for the same dates, same airline. It is cheaper to fly rt amsterdam to the states, same airlines & time frame. Just not fair, why?

Posted by
23357 posts

That is because more people want to go to Amsterdam than Istanbul. It is called marketing and keeping the plane full. It is fair for the airlines.

Posted by
16470 posts

There has to be a different explanation. The people going to Istanbul (via Amsterdam) are riding on the same plane as the people just going to Amsterdam. Yet they pay less, and go farther. I have noticed the same thing with British Airways flights from Seattle to Zurich. It is several hundred dollars less to fly Seattle-LHR - Zurich than to fly Seattle to LHR and end the journey there. That is comparing the flightson the same day, using the same BA flight from Seattle to LHR ( BA Flight 49).

Posted by
23357 posts

Lola, why are you expecting any logic to airline pricing? There is none.

Posted by
16470 posts

It just seems weird to pay less and get more ( the extra flight beyond LHR or Amsterdam). Maybe it has to do with needing to fill those shorter intra-Europe flights?

Posted by
638 posts

Frank has it exactly right, I once flew to Shannon Ireland, I was looking at the flight online and noticed there was one stop prior to Shannon, it was Dublin, I called the airline and asked if I could just change Dublin as my final destination instead of continuing on to Shannon since I had a few days before I had to be in that part of Ireland, they said the ticket to Dublin was more expensive. Simply put Amsterdam is a more popular destination so the price is more. A good analogy is cable and satellite television, they tier their prices, knowing what the most popular channels are, they'll give customers plenty of channels that are rarely watched by most customers and tier up the more more popular channels to get people to pay more, there might be only one channel in the next tier but again they know people will pay for it. Common sense says why can't I just not get the channels I don't watch and give me the one I do, I'll trade 4 channels for 1 but they won't do that.

Posted by
2829 posts

This is extremely common. Connecting flights are less expensive than flights only to the transfer airport. You will probably find cheaper flights to Amsterdam with connections elsewhere in Europe. The reason is simple: direct flights attract a more time-sensitive, price-insensitive customer base that can't/don't want to afford time lost on connections and longer flights. Like people on business, people whose tickets are paid by someone else, people travelling on tight schedules etc. So the airlines can charge more for direct flights. However, the same airline has to lower prices to be competitive with flights elsewhere. If prices were based on distance, why would anyone fly with indirect flights? It doesn't make business sense.

Posted by
4059 posts

That price to Istanbul is a breathtaking bargain for anything crossing the Atlantic. Be grateful when these breaks show up. And congratulations for keen shopping.
Fairness has nothing to do with airline prices; business does, as other posters above have pointed out. That price round-trip to Amsterdam is not bad on its own. In mid-July it will be 50 to 80 per cent higher.

Posted by
11294 posts

Here's another Helpline thread about airfare discrepancies: link. The airlines are not interested in being "logical." They're interested in maximizing revenue. If they can get more for a ticket to Amsterdam than for a ticket to Istanbul (even if it uses more fuel), they will. Simple. This has been going on for years, domestically and internationally, and in the past people used various creative ways to defeat it. The airlines have closed those "loopholes" (as they see it). The Airline Passenger's Guerrilla Handbook is a book from 1989. It has all kinds of tips to circumvent airline prices, which are no longer valid today. Here's a wild one: It was cheaper to fly NYC-LHR-WAW (Warsaw), using the Concorde to London, than to fly NYC-LHR on the Concorde. So, just book the flights New York to Warsaw, and discard the LHR-WAW portion. This advice is now as obsolete as the Concorde itself (the airline will void the rest of your itinerary, immediately, if you miss any segment). And it's interesting that one of my inexpensive fares (cited in that thread) also involved Istanbul. I think it's worth keeping in mind when we get those questions of "where's the cheapest place to fly to?" Of course, that only works if the person is interested in seeing Turkey <g>.

Posted by
118 posts

the airlines will defintely discard the rest of your ticket if you skip a leg. i luck out because i live in nyc. there are a few domestic flights ive taken that go to philadelphia, with a layover in nyc....where if you book to philly, its about $100 cheaper than if you book the same flight to nyc. since im on my way home, theres nothing left on the ticket for them to cancel. woo hoo!