When traveling to closer destinations, sometimes the cost of the airplane ticket can be the same as the cost of fuel and tolls.
This issue explains how and why airlines price tickets, which vary and change. To get to that, we must first define what’s class and what’s tariff.
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The meaning of class is more or less known to everyone – flights have economy (cheapest class), business (a little more expensive), and first class (the most expensive). Of course, not all airlines have the option to offer first class because it requires special amenities, airplane size, and many other things, and commercial flights often involve economy and business class only.
Every flight has multiple tariffs within class, whether the most widely used economy or business or first class. For example, economy class can have even more than ten different tariffs. Every company has its own codes for these tariffs and they are made up of letters. Corporate travel agents can see in the system exactly how many seats are available on the flight under each tariff. Depending on the airline, tariffs can vary in the sense that the lower can be “more restrictive” than higher tariffs. This applies above all to the following several important items:
- Cancellation and refund rules
- Rule for changing travel dates
- Maximum validity period of the ticket
- Minimum length of stay at the destination
- Duration of the reservation before purchase
What is interesting is that the level of service on the plane is identical for all passengers traveling in the same class. That is why it can happen that the passenger sitting next to you paid twice as much or even less compared with you. For marketing reasons, airlines usually start selling seats at the lowest price, but only with a few seats available. As the flight date approaches, each subsequent seat is usually more expensive.
Very often, on workdays tickets are available at lower prices.
Booking the ticket only guarantees the seat on the flight, but not the price. Airlines renew their tariffs –and in turn prices – every day at midnight, which means they can change. Commonly, no change takes place. However! Price increases can occur because of many things, like fuel price increase, ex change rate changes, tariff expiration, etc. The duration of the reservation itself depends on the tariffs within the classes and date of travel. To illustrate, if you book a ticket for a flight that should be in six months, the duration of the reservation will be longer, sometimes several days, but if the trip is supposed to take place in a day or two, it can even be valid just a few hours.
Business travelers make up a large proportion of air travel. Especially those who fly to destinations where they stay for a day or two. That’s why recently some airlines like Air Serbia, Lufthansa, and Swiss Airline introduced sub tariffs that allow passengers to travel only with their hand baggage and, if they subsequently need checked baggage or an extra service on the flight like choosing a specific seat, meal, boarding priorities, etc., they can pay for them after the ticket is purchased. If a passenger thinks they might need the checked baggage, our advice is to buy it right away, because if they do it on the spot, at the airport, the cost of the extra baggage can be much more expensive.
Many professional cheap ticket hunters claim that Tuesday is the best day to travel.
Everyone likes a discount and price reduction, which means that this is also possible in the air travel industry, in the form of promotional ticket prices. Airlines make their promotional class tariffs available and set a deadline by which the tickets must be bought and the travel period for which the promotion is valid. Over certain period of the year, tickets to all destinations are much more expensive and this applies mainly to July and August, as well as to the dates from mid-December to mid-January, since they are seasonal months. The number of passengers on flights jumps because of vacations and holidays. This makes it more difficult to find a spot on the flight, so we advise you to secure your seat as soon as possible if you know that you will be traveling then.
Low-cost companies sometimes sell airline tickets that cost under 10 EUR for certain destinations.
As we can see, flying doesn’t have to be expensive. The next time you’re thinking about going by car, first check the ticket price with your agent and plan your trip on time 🙂
Kongresniturizam.com, Corporate Travel Department,
Jovana Ljuboja and Bojana Vucenovic