Thursday 13 April 2006

Strange business model

Later in the year I have to fly one-way from Amsterdam to Edinburgh. EasyJet flies once a day and their website is offering a ticket at a reasonable 53.99 Euros (including tax).

But once a day is a bit restrictive timewise, so I thought I'd check with KLM. The Dutch carrier operates five services to Edinburgh every day and I entered the details onto their site. A one-way ticket is quoted at 459 Euros (including tax). That was for the lowest available fare. On a travel agent's website I was quoted the same fare for KLM but they didn't mention EasyJet. They did however suggest several much cheaper alternatives to KLM - via London, Dublin, Frankfurt or even Prague. It transpired that the KLM quote is for business class and that's the only option on the website. But I knew that most of the seats on the KLM flights between Amsterdam and Edinburgh flights are economy - last year my wife flew from Edinburgh to the US and back via Amsterdam for not much more than 459 Euros. Then I decided to ask KLM to quote for a return flight from Edinburgh to Amsterdam and back. That's 214.30 Euros - less than half the cheapest one-way fare. Going both ways allows you to go economy, but not if you go one-way - according to KLM's website.

Isn't this somewhat ludicrous? The unwary passenger could end up flying via Prague - or, more worryingly, Heathrow - if they went by what options seem to be available. What's the logic here? Other than perhaps that KLM is now part of Air France?

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

The Pedant-General in Ordinary
Disagree: Business class only for one-way flights has been fairly standard practice across the majors for some time. Anecdotally, BMI and British Airways used to do this (and may well still do so).  
Even within the UK, a single ticket costs much more than the outward portion of the same trip if booked as a return journey. Most airlines now show these prices separately so this can be seen clearly. 
And don't be surprised that no travel agent quoted you easyjet: neither easy jet nor ryanair sell through agents: only via their own website or call centres. 
I don't expect performance to improve with the Air France buyout, but this particular problem is not specifically related: it is just legacy airline madness of a form that has not yet been eradicated by the LCAs. 

16 April 2006, 21:43:59 GMT+01:00
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Andrew Duffin
I would imagine KLM are stuck in the past where only money-no-object business travellers ever went anywhere one-way, whereas the plebs were stuck with return tickets only, out and back strictly to and from the same airports. 
The fact that they're part of Air France makes this the most likely explanation. 
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence"

14 April 2006, 12:27:23 GMT+01:00
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Hi ich bin Chriswab aus Bottrop !! Viele GrĂ¼sse !!!!!

13 April 2006, 20:09:47 GMT+01:00