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Cheaper to fly Business that Economy

Demonoid

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2012
Messages
209
Have VA lost the plot?

I was looking to book some flight down from CBR to MEL, and the 6.35pm flight in economy was coming in cheaper than business?
On what planet would anyone book the $629 economy fare over the $449 business class fare?

176874
 

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ozstamps

Active Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2003
Messages
594
Business flights for companies that do not allow Biz to be purchased for domestic.

Often no-one cares what the cost is, as long as it is not business class! If that time best fits in with meetings etc, all fine.

Cost to upgrade full fare is only a few 1000 miles and company knowns nothing about that.
 

The-Aviator

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Joined
Dec 10, 2018
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14
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Saw some similar flights yesterday although that was due to the friends and family code. The flight I booked unfortunately was not one of them but J was only $100 extra. Of course for the status credits, I couldn't resist!
 

PDF

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2018
Messages
24
Yep, I see this every now and again. Supply and demand issue :)

I'm not sure what happens inside the computer, but I suspect Virgin might also slightly overbook economy. Flying on the weekend on a full Y cabin, a plat member ahead of me was unexpectedly upgraded from Y to J as she scanned her boarding pass at the gate.
 

BruceD1beach

Junior Member
Joined
May 23, 2013
Messages
13
I'm a Qantas Platinum One member so I just look at Qantas prices and I can make the following observations which may also apply to Virgin. The various departments of Qantas seem to operate independently - so you might have 1) promotions, 2) finance, 3) frequent flyer, 4) overseas offices etc. You can arbitrage between the departments - for example I've booked flights in Business Class originating from Christchurch and also from Wellington to Sydney and then to Melbourne for $450. If you do this during a double status offer you'll get 240 SC. Imagine you booked a whole year ahead as if you were based in Wellington - the return leg could be the start of a brief getaway holiday - but in reality from the booking point of view it is the completion of the previous initial flight booking. If you know your dates a year in advance you can have regular breaks in NZ and do a lot of Business Class flying for much cheaper than economy. How to get to Wellington in the first place to start the ball rolling - either use points or fly Jetstar one way. Years ago I also did this with Singapore - booked all my flights as if I lived in Singapore. Out of their home market all airlines need to compete aggressively against other airlines. Within Australia they can charge high fees and people just pay them.
 

Bagpuss

Active Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2014
Messages
759
I was looking to book some flight down from CBR to MEL, and the 6.35pm flight in economy was coming in cheaper than business?
On what planet would anyone book the $629 economy fare over the $449 business class fare?
You will find that as economy fills up the price goes up and the business cabin remains empty.
Some companies wont pay for business class (though it can be cheaper) and it can also be the case that flexible fares can be cheaper than non flexible fares.
In similar circumstances it can be cheaper to fly Melbourne - Brisbane - Perth than Melbourne - Perth.
Though it would be nice to fly business knowing some people in economy have paid more than you.
 

CaptJCool

Active Member
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
847
Have seen this around time of major sports events....

When WS Wanderers played Adelaide United in a May in Adelaide in the soccer Grand Final this happened.... AFL finals flights to Sydney. It was cheaper to fly to the Gold Coast and back than just to Sydney.

On another twist to this theme, it’s cheaper to fly J class to Auckland via Brisbane than just to Brisbane (probably similar to the Wellington story above)
 

KAH

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2019
Messages
16
While the price difference anomaly is correct, the booking conditions (28 days in advance for "I" class booking) is not insignificant. The point that some companies have travel requirements resulting in certain employees being required to travel economy is a valid one. That said, I have yet to see a company travel office turn down the opportunity to save some money if the case (and evidence) was put to them in a timely manner.
This example does say something about the management of VA. That such an anomaly can occur suggests that more careful oversight by those responsible for VA pricing and revenue management more generally is needed.

In my experience in North America where this situation occurs (coach class is heavily booked and the premium cabin is not), one possible outcome is that where elite frequent fliers who go to book a coach (economy) seat, the booking redirects them to a seat up front at no extra cost. Imagine the present experience for the customer when this happens!! It is a win-win for everyone.
In the situation described for the Canberra flight, if VA had the foresight of doing this then they would (1) gain added revenue (2) start to fill seats that might otherwise go empty and (3) give the customer a very positive experience - that they might remember and even talk about!!
 

SeaWolf

Active Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2007
Messages
945
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
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You get these pricing anomalies from time to time on pretty much all airlines. In this case as well being the CBR-MEL route at 6:35pm that flight will be packed with federal public servants returning home to Melbourne after a business trip to Canberra. Almost all federal public servants are required to book Economy all the time and are also not permitted to upgrade using their own points. Of course, the federal government gets a significant discount on flexible fares, so I'd guess that for them this shows up cheaper in the booking system, probably cheaper than the Business class seat. But it wouldn't make any difference anyhow, Economy must be booked even if Business is cheaper.

 

Isochronous

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Dec 18, 2009
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You get these pricing anomalies from time to time on pretty much all airlines. In this case as well being the CBR-MEL route at 6:35pm that flight will be packed with federal public servants returning home to Melbourne after a business trip to Canberra. Almost all federal public servants are required to book Economy all the time and are also not permitted to upgrade using their own points. Of course, the federal government gets a significant discount on flexible fares, so I'd guess that for them this shows up cheaper in the booking system, probably cheaper than the Business class seat. But it wouldn't make any difference anyhow, Economy must be booked even if Business is cheaper.

And the mean-spirited Lindsay Tanner banned government employees from earning points too. The costs of the airlines having to administer a separate booking class to meet that requirement probably means no real savings to the taxpayer anyway.
 

CaptJCool

Active Member
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
847
And the mean-spirited Lindsay Tanner banned government employees from earning points too. The costs of the airlines having to administer a separate booking class to meet that requirement probably means no real savings to the taxpayer anyway.
Status credits still gave you lounge access but points could give you a free international F trip. Imagine the taxpayer stink if it was discovered senior public servants were flying business trips to do that! Scandal much
 

Ausbt

AFF Supporter
Joined
Apr 21, 2012
Messages
1,211
Business flights for companies that do not allow Biz to be purchased for domestic.
And sadly isn't that sort-of the truth? I'm on a PE now (admittedly not domestic) SYD-LHR-SYD and the price was eye-watering. I could have co-contributed for business at a very small amount more. But would that have caused a problem with our finance department? Yep. The simple word 'Business' probably would have been a tough sell. They are not unreasonable people, but not worth the hassle.
 
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Danger

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
6,129
And the mean-spirited Lindsay Tanner banned government employees from earning points too. The costs of the airlines having to administer a separate booking class to meet that requirement probably means no real savings to the taxpayer anyway.
An MP once described it to me as Tanner's parting middle finger to his colleagues.

And, yes. It does cost Qantas (at least) more. I've stood alongside Alan Joyce at Parliament House when a federal staffer expressed disappointment that points weren't awarded. Joyce literally said it costs Qantas more to ensure the points don't post than it would cost to actually award the points. Of course, that makes no difference. In politics, it's about the optics.
 

Gremlin

Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
193
I once had a work trip across the ditch with EK where J was cheaper than Y. Travel policy said that I must book Y, but I booked the cheaper J fare. Had my travel claim rejected. Was told that I had to pay the fare myself and would be reimbursed the cost of the Y fare only. I tried to do the right thing, but apparently "rules is rules". So I not only travelled J, but also got paid the difference between the two fares!
 

CaptJCool

Active Member
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
847
I once had a work trip across the ditch with EK where J was cheaper than Y. Travel policy said that I must book Y, but I booked the cheaper J fare. Had my travel claim rejected. Was told that I had to pay the fare myself and would be reimbursed the cost of the Y fare only. I tried to do the right thing, but apparently "rules is rules". So I not only travelled J, but also got paid the difference between the two fares!
Such enlightened employers

Musta been Gremlins in their system! LOL
 

Pleb Status

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Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
3,003
And, yes. It does cost Qantas (at least) more. I've stood alongside Alan Joyce at Parliament House when a federal staffer expressed disappointment that points weren't awarded. Joyce literally said it costs Qantas more to ensure the points don't post than it would cost to actually award the points. Of course, that makes no difference. In politics, it's about the optics.
Yet QF will add a specific line item charge for QFF points on some 'negotiated' fares.

I have been advised that a very large mining company has 'negotiated' fares with QF for their highly travelled routes (RPT, not contract) where items like QFF points and even meals etc are specific line item charges that are priced separately and can be removed at anytime by the company if they want the savings.

You cannot charge an extra amount for something 'optional' and then complain when a customer does not want to pay for it. They are too used to charging for 'compulsory' extras like fuel surcharges etc...
 
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Max Samuels

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Jun 30, 2010
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260
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VA have lost the plot again today it seems!!!

Looking at fare MEL-BNE in September.... Y was quoted @ $1,110 and J @ $599!

And after further investigation, it appears the most EXPENSIVE J fare on offer was only $799!

VA.JPGVA_2.JPG
 

AIRwin

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Apr 13, 2013
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Looking at fare MEL-BNE in September.... Y was quoted @ $1,110 and J @ $599!
All other flights later on the same day were between $152 and $245, suggesting this flight is already quite full in the Y cabin?
 

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