It’s nice to have experts working for you.
Over the past week, World Travel, Inc. agents have been noticing strange and distinct pricing discrepancies when pricing multi-flight trips: pricing them as multiple one-ways on a split ticket garners a price that is significantly lower than pricing the trip as a multi-segment.
So what’s going on?
It seems that American, Delta, and United have added new restrictions to Category 10 domestic combinable fare rules. In layman’s terms: fares created when combining multiple single-segment fares to “arrive at the total charge to the passenger.”
Clarification: These are trips that include an overnight between segments. In the biz, we call them "open-jaw" or "circle trips". They are not the same as connecting flights.
At this point, the airlines aren’t being completely forthcoming with then when or the why, but the proof is in the pricing.
World Travel, Inc. went to the drawing board to test, pricing the following flight scenario through the GDS:
The above itinerary is a perfect example of the CAT 10 restrictions.
Priced as one (multi-segment) ticket, the fare is $1476.70.
Priced as three separate one-way tickets, the fares were as follows:
Priced as three separate one-way tickets, the total cost is $525.30.
That’s a difference of $951.40.
We then compared the pricing to American Airlines’ online interface, pricing the same itinerary at $1467.70 .
A popular Online Travel Agency's pricing came back well over $600.00.
Once again, here’s evidence that an agent who can navigate the GDS is better able to find the best way to price your airline ticket.
World Travel, Inc. agents have advised they are seeing significant savings by splitting the tickets in some cases, as in the above example. World Travel, Inc.’s Business Solutions team is currently running multiple pricing scenarios for all online reservations as they go through WorldQC™ protocols. They are keeping an eye on the automatic immediate pricing, and WorldQC™ guarantees that our system will continue to look for better faring, even after the itinerary is ticketed.
“We are currently looking into how these new rules will impact the booking process across all of our booking channels and will determine the best means to support our valued clients,” said Executive Vice President of Operations and Strategic Planning, Pam Zager.
“The biggest challenge is for those who do not book directly with World Travel, Inc. If they book themselves online they are paying much higher prices, since those customers don’t have the option of split ticketing.”
If you have a non-consolidated or non-mandated program, your travelers who are booking their own travel outside of your OBT may not even realize these pricing discrepancies, nor will they have an efficient way to book separate one-way trips. It might be a good time to check in with your self-sufficient road warriors and let them know that there’s a flight-booking guru at World Travel, Inc. who will save them a lot of time and money – more than enough to make up for that transaction fee.
World Travel, Inc. is committed to securing the best pricing for our travelers, and we’re keeping an eye on this situation as it develops.