Flight prices are insane…

Airbus A330-200 landing.

It costs a lot to get on one of these

I don’t mean particularly expensive. They just often don’t make sense.

I’m looking at booking my next flight from London to wherever. I’m checking out flights to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Australia and Japan (Osaka and Tokyo). The prices of these trips, on the whole, make sense when you stack them against each other mile for mile.

However, one of my options is Bangkok via Doha, Qatar. Now, I’ve not been to Qatar before so it would be nice to see the place – and 1hr 50 minutes just isn’t enough. The problem with booking via websites, though, is that you can’t negotiate extended stopovers and you never know if you’ll be able to after you’ve booked.

So the next logical step is to manually check the options by splitting the flight. Here are the details I got using Kayak.co.uk although I’m sure I’d get similar mad figures from Expedia or wherever else:

London Gatwick to Bangkok via Doha: £353 (Qatar Airways)

Gatwick to Doha: £310 (Turkish Airlines)

Doha to Bangkok: £254 (Gulf Air)

All well and good, and you kind of expect that in a way. However, what makes no sense whatsoever is the cost of Qatar Airways’ flight from Gatwick to Doha. Bear in mind, this is the exact same flight I’d be on were I to take the route via Doha.

£873

Yes. £873. That’s around 2-and-a-half times more than it costs to fly for further, on the same route, on the same plane, with the same airline.

What I may do is contact Qatar Airlines and say I’m planning on getting the Bangkok ticket and if it’s possible to extend my stopover. If I get a quick reply, I should be able to buy the original ticket, then contact them direct again to get them to change it.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Actually, it reminds me that Andy told me last year he paid about half the cost for a flight to the US from the UK… going via Australia.

Quick Update: Going onto Qatar Airlines own page and booking a multi-part trip, I got the price down to £464. This was without using the rather insane option of going from Doha to Bangkok via Frankfurt or London… I’m still going to try to contact them to see if it would be cheaper to buy the original ticket and then change the second leg. Only I’m struggling to get their “Contact Us” page to work properly.

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6 thoughts on “Flight prices are insane…

  1. Very often you can specify a multi stop option.

    But infuriatingly they will sometimes allow the regular fare using the stopover allowed in a standard fare but then other times decide it’s all too complex and add up the full price single fares to give you $$ ?0,000 – oh and then they want to shove you [literally usually] in cattle class for 10’s of thousands …WTF?

    [ All My Comments at http://blodcast.com/cheap-flights ]

  2. Pingback: Nicola's notes on cheap flights UNITED STATES WordPress

  3. £873

    Yes. £873″

    Just to get you more hopping mad, be aware that part of the reason for the extra cost are all the extra taxes which have been added in the name of saving the environment.

    BUT by stopping and doing the trip in short hops your carbon footprint is LESS – MUCH LESS than those who take the non-stop option and only pay the government-piggies with their green snouts in the trough once.

    [ All My Comments at http://blodcast.com/cheap-flights ]

  4. Ah. Oops. I’m just sure I remember you saying something about your enormous carbon footprint!

    Might look into doing something similar – fly to Japan or Oz and I’ll check their websites for prices.

  5. Nicola – the taxes are definitely one issue, but they don’t explain the huge increase in price when making a shorter journey. You may pay a greater percentage of your flight price as tax for a short-haul journey, but the price of the original flight must be high already for the tax to go up.

    Given that the flight I was looking as was broken in two, I’d expect the 2-leg journey to be more expensive than the 1-leg given that the first leg of the former was the latter, on the same airline and with the same route.

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