Open Jaw: Where readers write back
Saturday 31 August 2013
Researchers say a fair price for a flight is £32 plus 7p per mile
The model makes no mention of the economies of scale generated from larger aircraft; the effect of competition; or a reduced margin for longer flights. Were the "correct airfare" of £1,442 charged to Sydney for economy class, the planes would be half empty.
Look at the same routes, but either a return starting or ending in London. You'll find that in the majority of cases it's cheaper to fly from London, and the economies of scale are the same in both directions. I just did a random search on Qantas from London to Sydney: it's £870 from London and £1,200 to London on the same size plane. In February, Qantas is actually charging £1,570 from Sydney (but still £870 from London).
I fly Melbourne to London each year. By buying my flight in the UK I save about 40 per cent compared with the fare if bought from Australia. I could save even more by using a European airport to avoid the UK tax.
"Beb of Penge"
Competition reduces prices and works. Even where you think there's a case for collaboration, all it does is create a cartel. Aside from monopolies like Bermuda, the highest prices are where you only have, say, British Airways and the (usually) state-owned local airline. Also, long-haul economy fares will generally be lower to destinations with a sizeable business segment because it effectively subsidises cheap seats. New York is a classic example. It's a reason why budget airlines don't do long haul.
A purely theoretical calculation, market conditions and actual demand will be the determining factors.
This is just harking back to the bad old days when the airline club, IATA, fixed the price of a ticket.
According to rumour, how much you pay can also depend on how often you check prices online. Clear your cookies before and after going to airfare sites!
Please do Tanzania the service of correctly identifying its capital as Dodoma, not Dar Es Salaam.
Egypt in crisis
Our trip to Egypt has been cancelled five weeks prior to departure. A full refund from Longwood allowed us to book an alternative.
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