Category Archives: Fares

Why you cannot upgrade using miles

Several readers asked us questions about Miles & More, Lufthansa’s frequent flyer program. They are mostly interested in the availability of upgrades. More in particular they want to know how to use their upgrade certificates and their miles to move 1 class up because more often than not they are unable to do so. You should be aware that current frequent flyer programs like Miles & More are not designed to please loyal customers, but to make more money. Since carriers are obsessed by profits they prefer to auction...
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New fee disclosure rules explained

In a supplemental notice of Jan. 17, 2017 the US Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing that airlines and ticket agents must disclose fees for the first and second checked bag and a carry-on bag. They must do so while customers are still researching airline fares so that they can make informed decisions. This follows a notice of October 18, 2016. Until the late 2000s, bag fees only applied in special cases, for example oversized bags. From then on, however, air carriers started to “unbundle” fees, which...
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The cheapest and most expensive countries to buy tickets

ticketsIndia is the country where you can buy the cheapest tickets, whereas in the United Arab Emirates tickets are most expensive. This is based on averages across low-cost and network airlines and domestic and international flights. The calculations are made by, formerly known as Skypicker, an online travel agency that has developed an Aviation Price Index, detailing 75 countries that offer the most and least affordable flights. Surprisingly, Sweden belongs to the 10 cheapest countries, while China ranks only 11. There are no surprises among the most expensive countries...
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What is the real price difference between low-cost and network airlines?

klm-deltaA reader asked us whether it is recommendable to fly from Amsterdam to New York on Norwegian rather than KLM Royal Dutch Airlines or her partner Delta Air Lines. This is hard to answer because personal preferences as to price, service and travel time play a very important role. Thus, we simply compare routes and prices on both carriers with the outbound flight on November 18 and the inbound flight on December 3, 2016. An important difference is that KLM flies non-stop from Amsterdam to New York,...
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How airlines avoid self-incrimination

delta5It may have happened in early 2016, when American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines agreed to change the pricing rules for multi-city trips. As a result, such trips became very expensive, in extreme cases as much as 5 times the normal price according to the Business Travel Coalition (BTC), a traveler advocacy organization. The 3 legacy carriers introduced the new pricing rule in March 2016. They did not announce it publicly and in advance, because they hate transparency. It smelled like silent collusion,...
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Towards transferable tickets

ticketsYou purchased a ticket, but you cannot fly due to illness or any other unexpected reason. What to do with your ticket? You cannot give or sell it to someone else because it is not transferable. Thus, you will lose your money unless you have an expensive, refundable ticket or a travel insurance that covers cancelation. But the airline will gain as it can sell your seat for a second time. In Europe there is an exception when the ticket is part of a package deal (flight plus accommodation and/or rental car). EU...
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