Last month I wrote about buying Emirates first class at 89% off.
Airlines price discriminate selling premium cabin tickets based on market in which the tickets are sold. An airline may sell a ticket for a whole lot less originating in Asia or Africa than in Europe or the U.S.
There may be more customers in the U.S. willing to buy a premium cabin ticket to Africa, than the other way around. So selling seats cheaper originating in Africa can fill otherwise empty seats without reducing the price many of the Americans will pay.
It’s worth running the flight for the high revenue traffic heading to a destination and back, and once the airline is flying the plane anyway it’s willing to fill up remaining seats at a discount. So the way it does that is discounting for passengers buying their ticket to start a journey in the lower revenue end of the trip.
So I shared a $2500 one-way fare from Maputo, Mozambique via Johannesburg and Dubai to San Francisco. The 15 hour Dubai – San Francisco flight is on Emirates’ Airbus A380 with suites and onboard shower.
Roundtrips originating in Mozambique were pricing at ‘only’ $4256 while the same roundtrip itinerary originating in San Francisco runs over $37,000.
A couple of weeks ago Lucky at One Mile at a Time found that the price of this fare had fallen even further and was under $4000 roundtrip.
I wrote at the time that “there will be some people who choose to book a one-way award ticket to Africa, and then buy their ticket back from Africa. Or Asia. Colombo, Sri Lanka has been especially known over the years as a great city to start from for cheap airfare.”
And indeed there’s now even a cheaper Emirates first class fare out of Colombo, Sri Lanka. (HT: Secret Flying)
Of course there are even cheaper routes still on which you can fly Emirates A380 first class, though not for quite as long.
For instance Auckland – Sydney:
And Bangkok – Hong Kong: