Airfares Are Much Higher For 2013

This past April, my wife and I flew round-trip from Washington to London at a cost of $2056. This was for the up-graded coach or "World Traveler Plus", as BA calls it.
I just bought tickets for our trip in 2013, and paid $3012 for the same class of service. I was quite taken aback at the huge increase in price for our tickets, but there's really nothing one can do. Either pay the price or stay at home.

Posted by Morris
Loudoun County, Va., USA
157 posts

I guess I'm too used to the fare structure used by Amtrak here in the US. When I worked for Amtrak, they used a system that gave the deepest discounts to those who purchased their tickets earliest. If there were 400 available seats, for example, 25 would be sold at the deepest discount, and would naturally be bought up by those who bought their tickets first. The next 50 or so would have a discount, but not as much, and would be sold once the first 25 tickets were gone. There would be several more levels of discounts, until the last 200 or so tickets would be sold at full fare. I had assumed that the airlines worked the same way, but apparently not.
Ah, well. Life is a series of learning opportunities. I'll know better next year.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7683 posts

That seems outrageously high, even for the upgraded seat. But if you have already purchased tickets for a trip in 2013, I guess you are stuck with that price. I suppose if you see something cheaper in the meantime, it might be worth paying the fee to change, and rebuying them. I don't agree that there is nothing one can do about it. In spite of higher prices, there are still some deals out there sometimes, and sometimes you can find alternate routing to get you there cheaper. We fairly often find deals to London from Chicago for much less than what you paid.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10888 posts

I guess it is all a matter of perspective but I don't consider $1500 outrageously high for economy plus seats. Cheaper tickets often come with less convenient routing or other inconveniences.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7683 posts

Maybe outrageous was a bad word to use. I often see fares cheaper than that from Chicago to London. The OP is traveling from Washington, DC, which I would assume would be cheaper, though he didn't say when he would be traveling (which could make a difference, too). Maybe we just get better deals here from time to time.

Posted by Marco
Oxford, United Kingdom
782 posts

BA like most airlines have sales cropping up all the time. At the moment is an ex-UK sale; I daresay an ex-USA sale will turn up before long.

Posted by Sasha
Bainbridge Island
1590 posts

That is not an "outrageous" price and you did just fine. I just looked at the BA fare calendar and was surprised to see that flights from Washington DC to London are only slightly less than the flights from Seattle. And Economy Plus is around 60 to 70 percent higher than the economy fares. $1500 per ticket is not bad at all and I wouldn't expect that fare to go down much if at all. We always buy our BA tickets well ahead (with one exception which I sorely regret). Always pay around $1400-$1600 from Seattle for Economy in high season. I've watched just for fun and have never seen them go on sale later. Al their sales seem to be for off-season travel. (Like right now we could get tickets to Barcelona RT for $915, but we have to go in the winter or early spring. Can't do that with kids.

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2155 posts

Probably too late now, but maybe change it up this year to get the same pricing you had last year in premium economy. I know you want premium, but you can shave $500 per ticket off sitting in plain ole' economy class (fly Icelandair, and save another $100). But if you have to have premium economy, then, of course, you'll pay a premium. The regular economy fares I'm seeing right now for April 2013 are just about what they were for April 2012. Maybe that's just me...I typically fly from MSP or ORD for transatlantic.

Posted by Morris
Loudoun County, Va., USA
157 posts

Can't handle the seating in economy. The wife has a touch of arthritis in her hips, and the narrow seats and short legroom is agonizing for her after a few hours. I tried to purchase seats in the exit row, but they don't sell those until 14 days before departure, and even then there is no guarantee that you'll get those seats, since the airline can put you anywhere they want if "operational needs" require it.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Fare comparisons are only useful in this case if you are talking about the same airline. I know British Airways is often more than other airlines, so there is no point comparing to US Air or other. BA is BA, and if you like what they offer ( as we do) then you pay. And don't second guess your choice. Apart from sales for off- season travel, I have not seen their prices drop significantly over the course of a year. What you might consider,if you plan repeat trips,is joining the Executive Club and getting the credit card when it offer lots of bonus miles. We joined several years ago and are now planning our third trip in business class ( flat bed seats) on those miles. But I agree that prices are going up, as the fuel surcharge we had to pay increased by $100 per ticket between the time we bought the outbound leg and the inbound leg, six weeks apart.