I do not understand airline pricing. But, I do know that it makes sense to shop around.
That said, I will not fly with every airline. Sure, most get from point A to Point B without incident, but I do not need the irrational concern that accompanies you on some carriers. And, many (not to mention Ryanair) are not completely truthful about the cost or destination. For example, if you fly from London to Frankfurt, you end up about three hours by bus away from the city. It may be cheap (maybe, if you don’t add up all the extras and the cost of bus fare), but I refuse to fly with that airline. I prefer to take the train...or fly Lufthansa.
Anyways, that’s not my point. I have been checking fares to Asia. We have booked a cruise from Singapore to Hong Kong, with several stops in Vietnam. I had wanted to ride a bike from Saigon to Hanoi with a friend, but my wife vetoed that. My only chance of seeing the country is via cruise ship. It will certainly be less tiring than by bicycle, although I will not see as much.
Back to my point: airfares. I discovered huge (and you will soon see that I have not chosen that adjective lightly) differences in the cost of flights from Frankfurt to Asia. For a first class seat, a leading European airline demands €14,000. A leading Asian airline wants €8,500 for the same route. If one is willing to change planes in a Middle Eastern country and endure a visit to one of the nicer airport lounges in the world, the cost of the trip is only€2,900. The planes offer little difference in terms of luxury, although the more expensive choice lags behind the less expensive competitors (go figure).
The first mentioned airline has fairly good seat occupancy, as does the Asian airline. It is easy to understand why both are profitable. I do not understand how corporate travel offices, whose people surely account for most of the bookings, can justify spending shareholders money on putting the boss’s rear end in such an expensive seat. Of course, they will surely rationalize the expense by claiming that highly paid executive’s time is too valuable to waste with a detour through a luxurious airport lounge.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.