Add A Segment, Price Goes Down

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Pizzaman, Jun 29, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    I'm sure others have seen this before, but I haven't. I have an award flight for later on this summer that consists of VCE-LHR-PHL on BA and PHL-DCA on US, all on one ticket. The original booking was just the BA flights, since the US stuff wasn't available. Adding the PHL-DCA segment actually dropped the taxes and fees about $10 and change per ticket.

    The agent couldn't explain whether it was taxes or fees. Seemed odd to me. Just curious, is there an obvious answer I'm missing?
     
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  2. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Someone once explained to me that this is due to fees at the starting and final destination

    I am not sure if I had understood the "lesson" correctly but based on that knowledge, my interpretation of your situation would be that Security fees, customs fees or airport taxes at DCA is cheaper then at PHL.

    Experts out there, please feel free to tear apart my amateurish explanation. I would not mind another lesson.

    • VCE-LHR-PHL
      • Ticket is viewed as VCE to PHL
      • Transfer / Layover / stopover at LHR
      • Security fees, customs fees or airport taxes is at VCE and PHL
      • Transfer fees is at LHR
    • VCE-LHR-PHL-DCA
      • Ticket is viewed as VCE to DCA
      • Transfer / Layover / stopover at LHR and PHL
      • Security fees, customs fees or airport taxes is at VCE and DCA
      • Transfer fees is at LHR and PHL
     
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  3. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Yeah, that's what I figured. And, $10 isn't much, but I guess I would have thought the fee to operate at DCA would be higher than PHL, if not solely just because of the corruption at MWAA.
     
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  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Any chance there has been a sufficient currency exchange rate shift to account for the $10. The PFCs and other fees per airport should not have changed given your two itineraries. You actually should owe $2.50 more because of the additional security fee for a departure in the USA.
    VCE-USA.gif

    Also, in the USA (and most other places) PFCs are based on departure, not arrival. That's different from the immigration fees the US charges for use of USICS officers/facilities.
     
  5. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Although most of these are due to Origin-Destination competitive pricing, many airports have lower costs for transit passengers than they do for destination ones, and various handling fees, airport specific, play a part too. Those include security, baggage and airport service fees that frequently are lower or absent for transit passengers than for destination ones and also vary according to airline handling choices. Further, many airports offer incentives to specific airlines for various services and/or fees. Some of all that shows up in taxes and/or fees, some as ticket price differences. It has been a few years since i knew anything like the details on any specific airport but the differences on these points still can be substantial.

    We all probably are accustomed to point-to-point pricing between two non-stop linked airports that is usually higher than that of some third far distant airport that includes the first pair in the itinerary. My current example is GIG-SVO via CDG in C, the cost of which was 60% of the GIG-CDG flight which is included in the former. Because I just booked those flights I looked at the quotes. Indeed the taxes and fees were roughly 1/3 of the difference, apparently because CDG does not impose many fees on transit passengers to international destinations, at least for AF tickets.

    My next question about this is if the booking is made by an agency, i.e. one using a GDS, or the airline website, which does not use a GDS. Since GDS is expensive (~$60 for a four segment booking)
    some carriers change more for those services than others, which are then bungled into the all-inclusive 'fees and taxes'. One obvious example is that of an AF ticket issued in the US where Dl is their GSA. The ticket, booked in a GDS by DL is then issued on 006 stock. The identical ticket, same currency issued in a country where AF operates directly will be issued on 057 stock and may have lower "fees and taxes", but may not because the country of issuance will have different "fee and tax" structures.

    In my own travel I compare identical itineraries in multiple sources to determine which is least expensive. Obviously when you include international itineraries you also can play the FX leads and lags between the charged rates and the actuals you can obtain otherwise. That is harder to do now that mst airline bilateral settlement rates change weekly or more often, it is still possible to save some real money if you're willing to do the homework, even on a US domestic ticket. I compare US$, Euro and Brazilain real on almost every ticket in an attempt to minimise fees and fx costs. I often save 10% or so on my costs. This is just like optimising miles and points, but even more cost-effective IME. Not too long ago Fare Cosntruction Points could do this pretty well but the increased speed of FX pricing updates and bilateral settlement rather than generic IATA has largely reduced that opportunity.

    In taking full advantage of all this stuff one needs a serious devotion to the topic. Mine took form years ago when I ran a GSA for a flag-carrier airline when we took their GSA to secure the revenue stream for repayment of our loans.That is another story...
     

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