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Category Archives: Fares

Did I pay a high fare for nothing?

A reader writes that according to KLM's web site you can use miles to upgrade from fare class U. If you book, however, you can only choose between economy and business class. Thus, you cannot book a particular fare class.

You can do so at KLM's American partner Delta Air Lines, so he books KLM-flights at Delta. The U fare class is considerably more expensive than the lowest fare, but he does book it to be able to buy an upgrade with miles.


When he calls...
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How do I get a discount offer?

You are not anonymous if you are searching the internet for air fares. Cookies stored in your web browser may give online retailers clues as to your income bracket and price-sensitivity.

Your internet address may be linked to your physical address revealing whether you live in a rich or a poor area. This allows for price discrimination by sellers, which means they offer different prices to shoppers in different areas.

Online retailers can also buy individual shoppers' profiles from online-data-aggregation firms using price customization software. This allows

them to...
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A round-trip to Hong Kong for next to nothing

Some travelers bought first-class tickets to Hong Kong for just 4 frequent-flyer miles plus $40.50 in taxes and fees.

United Airlines sold them through its web site, writes The Wall Street Journal. Obviously, it was a mistake. The normal price amounts to at least 65,000 miles in coach or 140,000 in first class.

United announced it would not honor the reservations because the bookings resulted from a programming error. The carrier would give 

customers the choice of either keeping the reservations at regular mileage prices or receiving a...
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Are frequent flyers overpaying?

Delta Air Lines has charged frequent flyers higher fares than customers who searched the airline’s web site anonymously. But Delta says frequent flyers also see sometimes lower fares. The experience of 2 travelers sitting side-by-side with their laptops open is markedly different. One of them logs in as a frequent flier, the other as an anonymous client. Three out of 5 searches show higher fares for the frequent flyer. The other times the prices are the same. The differences in fares are substantial. In one case they observe a price difference of almost $300 (€235) for an economy fare and...
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Which fees do you pay and why?

In 2009, US airlines generated almost $8 billion (€6 billion) by charging a variety of fees. The latest fee is the overhead bin fee that Spirit Airlines began charging on August 1, 2010 for carry-on bags that will not fit in the under seat space. Airlines reserve the right to cancel or change your flight. However, if you want to change your flight most airlines will charge a reservation change fee. In the first quarter of 2010 alone, US airlines collected $554 million   from reservation change fees. Southwest Airlines is the only US airline that does not charge...
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