GPU-able Fares to SYD: Why is Cost for 'V' Much Lower than Cost for 'W'?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by NYCUA1K, Jan 17, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I am planning a trip to SYD for March and just did a search for GPU-able fares. Normally I would just look for W fares but with PQD in mind, I also decided to look for other fares to see if there were any that were just slightly higher that I could purchase to get me closer to meeting the new PQD requirement. That is when I noticed what is in the table below (all fares are for JFK-SFO-SYD):

    GPUABLE-Y-FARES-SYD.png

    Note that the V fare, which ranks higher in 'pecking order' than W, goes for $413 less than the W fare, while the Q fare is only $2 more than W.

    Being totally ignorant about how airline ticket costs are set, I have a few questions: does anyone have an explanation for why V should cost less when it is ranked higher than W? Does something like this happen very often? Would someone on a V fare that costs less than a W fare have higher U/G priority, everything else being equal?
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Got specific dates?

    Typically it does not happen this way. My best guess is that the fare class is not the same in both directions which causes the issue but without the details it is hard to confirm.

    Or UA mis-filed a fare. It does happen from time to time. I did ORD-GVA a while back on an E fare because it was the cheapest filed, well less than even a G fare.


    ETA: Looks like the W fare is splitting at SFO. Searching March 12-19 I see the following breakdown:

    Code:
    Fare 1: Carrier UA WA7GN NYC to SFO (rules)
    Passenger type ADT, one-way fare, booking code W
    Covers JFK-SFO (Economy)
    $297.67
    Fare 2: Carrier UA WKE0ZCM0 SFO to SYD (rules)
    Passenger type ADT, round trip fare, booking code W
    Covers SFO-SYD (Economy)
    $466.50
    Fare 3: Carrier UA WKE0ZCM0 SYD to SFO (rules)
    Passenger type ADT, round trip fare, booking code W
    Covers SYD-SFO (Economy)
    $466.50
    Fare 4: Carrier UA WA7GN SFO to NYC (rules)
    Passenger type ADT, one-way fare, booking code W
    Covers SFO-JFK (Economy)
    $297.67
    Australian Int'l Passenger Service Charge (WY)	$22.90
    UA YQ surcharge (YQ)	$680.00
    US International Departure Tax (US)	$17.50
    US September 11th Security Fee (AY)	$7.50
    US Passenger Facility Charge (XF)	$13.50
    USDA APHIS Fee (XA)	$5.00
    US Immigration Fee (XY)	$7.00
    US Customs Fee (YC)	$5.50
    Australian Passenger Movement Charge (AU)	$49.80
    Australian Int'l Passenger Service Charge (WY)	$22.90
    US International Arrival Tax (US)	$17.50
     
    Subtotal per passenger	$2,377.10
    Number of passengers	x1
     
    TOTAL AIRFARE & TAXES	$2,377.10
    Compare that to the V fare:
    Code:
    Fare 1: Carrier UA VKE0ZCM0 NYC to SYD (rules)
    Passenger type ADT, round trip fare, booking code V
    Covers JFK-SFO (Economy), SFO-SYD (Economy)
    $516.50
    Fare 2: Carrier UA VKE0ZCM0 SYD to NYC (rules)
    Passenger type ADT, round trip fare, booking code V
    Covers SYD-SFO (Economy), SFO-JFK (Economy)
    $516.50
    Australian Int'l Passenger Service Charge (WY)	$22.90
    UA YQ surcharge (YQ)	$680.00
    US International Departure Tax (US)	$17.50
    US September 11th Security Fee (AY)	$7.50
    US Passenger Facility Charge (XF)	$13.50
    USDA APHIS Fee (XA)	$5.00
    US Immigration Fee (XY)	$7.00
    US Customs Fee (YC)	$5.50
    Australian Passenger Movement Charge (AU)	$49.80
    Australian Int'l Passenger Service Charge (WY)	$22.90
    US International Arrival Tax (US)	$17.50
     
    Subtotal per passenger	$1,882.10
    Number of passengers	x1
     
    TOTAL AIRFARE & TAXES	$1,882.10
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
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  3. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The travel dates for which I searched are:

    Outbound: March 14, '14
    Inbound: March 20, '14

    The fares I listed are for the outbound only, but I did consider the possibility that the inbound costs might be more for V. However, things did not change much even after I selected the complete RT itinerary.
     
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  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yeah...I fixed my post after that. It is a fare break. Not all fare buckets are always published in all markets.
     
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  5. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Could you elaborate a bit about what you mean by "fare break"?
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There appears to be no W fare published for NYC-SYD on your dates. But since you are telling the system you want a W fare it will make one for you. In this case it does so by adding NYC-SFO-NYC plus SFO-SYD-SFO. And you end up with a higher fare overall because of it. Note the four W fare components in the ITA code from my first reply versus the two V fare components for the same dates.
     
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Very interesting... This can potentially set up a situation in which someone who paid less for V fare having U/G priority over someone who paid more for a W...
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Correct. That's why when searching on the UA site it is best practice to put all the eligible fares in on the advanced search page rather than just one. I actually wrote a GreaseMonkey/TamperMonkey script to automate the process of adding the GPU-eligible fares in to the united.com page, just to save a bit of time.
    [​IMG]

    Also consider that a V fare from in one market might be cheaper than a W fare in another market. In that case the cheaper V fare would be ahead of the more expensive W fare for the over-water upgrade priority.
     
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  9. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Very useful to know. I was not aware that one could specify more than one fare class, but looking at the example provided, they actually made it clear that this was possible. With what prompted this thread in mind, it really makes sense to specify multiple fare classes...just in case!
     
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  10. GreekDeno

    GreekDeno Silver Member

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    I'm sure it's a stupid question, but how do you get all fare class prices to show like that?
     
  11. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Would it not be great if the prices were presented that neatly! I just made table after getting the individual fare prices.
     

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