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When is a sale only half a sale?

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medhead

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I've noticed this during the last Qantas Sale and again now. As someone flying one route regularly it is easy to make such comparisons. to the details. I'm looking for a flight on 19 January 2015. With some excitement I did a search with the sale release this morning. I found there was limited release of sale fares on that day, so I decided to do an availability search with expert flyer. This is the comparison

Flight timeAircraft operatorCheapest fareAvailability
6am737 Qantas$195J6 C5 D3 I1 U1 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L9 V9 S9 N9 Q9 O9 G0
2:55pm737 Qantas$119J9 C9 D8 I3 U3 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L9 V9 S9 N9 Q9 O9 G0 X9
4:40pm737 Qantas$119J9 C9 D8 I3 U3 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L9 V9 S9 N9 Q9 O9 G0 X9

The issue I see is that there are different prices for what should be the same fare class on the same day, route but different flights. The X9 on the later 2 flights indicates more availability. Also given the wonderful Qantas website I cannot confirm is those later two flights are truly booking as O fares. Normally sale fares are E.

But I just wanted to flag this apparent anomaly. And canvass opinions. Are Qantas selective releasing sale fares, instead of a blanket release?
 
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MarcB

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Medhead - I find you need to add another carrier to EF searches to get ALL fare classes to show up. I think "E" class is the cheapers sale fare class and it's noticeably absent from your results! Also, EF shows availability based on US or UK points of sale. Often, Qantas prioritises sales to certain channels (including QF.com) which means availability may be available on QF.com, that can't be seen anywhere else. Have you tried to check the fare class on QF.com using the "view page source" method?
 

medhead

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Yes tried view page source in chrome, it gives me some generic form error - resend form? I'll redo the EF search.
 

medhead

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Thanks that was an interesting exploration into details. For those bored at this point, I can say "nothing to see here move along"

Turns out to be a point of sale issue fundamentally. Expanding the number of airlines in the search adds E0 for USA and EC for UK.

Page source shows the cheap fares were 'E' as expected and the expensive one is 'Q'. Meaning Qantas will sell O in the USA and UK but not Australia. So I need to find someone to sell me a seat in the UK, I guess.

The page source also showed up another interesting thing, that I'm unsure about.

fareBasis":"QPTDEAL","breakpoint":"true","fareClass":"QPTDEAL"}],"isInformational":false,"nbDaysBetweenItiDepAndSegDep":0,"nbDaysBetweenItiDepAndSegArr":0,"isMixedCabin":false,"rbd":"Q","realCabinCode":"E",
That seems to suggest they are selling me a Q fare but really consider it to be E. :?:


I also checked out details for a random date in the cheaper sale period later in 2015. Same situation were E is not released on the 6 am flight. So I guess it is only half a sale, but at least everything is explained properly by the fare classes.
 
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tomo69

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What I have noticed recently is that over the last six months I have noticed fare increases of $10 each month along my regular route. The sale just brings the current price back to not much less than normal six months ago.
 

MarcB

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Thanks that was an interesting exploration into details. For those bored at this point, I can say "nothing to see here move along"

Turns out to be a point of sale issue fundamentally. Expanding the number of airlines in the search adds E0 for USA and EC for UK.

Page source shows the cheap fares were 'E' as expected and the expensive one is 'Q'. Meaning Qantas will sell O in the USA and UK but not Australia. So I need to find someone to sell me a seat in the UK, I guess.

The page source also showed up another interesting thing, that I'm unsure about.



That seems to suggest they are selling me a Q fare but really consider it to be E. :?:


I also check out details for a random date in the cheaper sale period later in 2015. Same situation were E is not released on the 6 am flight. So I guess it is only half a sale, but at least everything is explained proper by the fare classes.
the "realcabincode" just indicates the cabin on board - in this case "E" just means economy. Search a business fare and you'll get "B" in it's place. It's not related to the fare class.
 

Mr_Orange

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For easy access to the fare bucket on the QF web site, install serfty's Greasemonkey script in Firefox. It works a treat :).
 

Mattg

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Just to add to this discussion, medhead I think you may be onto something. Was just looking at SYD-MEL flights and although the sale should cover these flights, they are priced different according to time blocks.

As an example, let's look at SYD-MEL on Sat 14 March next year:

6/7am flights are both $155
All flights 8am - 2pm are all $189
3/4pm flights are $155

Now, the sale fare advertised was $109. These flights are only available after 5pm on this particular day. (All flights from 5pm onwards are this price.)

As far as I can see, all the earlier flights aren't completely sold out in the relevant fare buckets yet. It seems to me that QF is excluding sale fares on flights they anticipate may fill up - and even increasing the prices during popular times. Effective yield management I guess, but annoying when you want to book a sale fare at the advertised price on a particular flight...
 

medhead

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It might be worthwhile keeping an eye on prices. Noticed this morning that a sale fare opened up on one of the flights I was looking at in February, so yield management seem to be moving things around.
 
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