Yes, I’m stating the obvious again, but once again – European airlines are the masters of the Saturday away rule.
Allow me to elaborate. The Saturday night away rule is used by a lot of airlines to separate business and leisure travellers – with business travellers prepared to pay hand over fist, whilst the leisure travellers will put up with the inconvenience of a night somewhere else.
Now, Low cost airlines have tried to do away with this as they sell as one way tickets (as do a few other airlines).
However, the Saturday night away rule is alive and well at Brussels Airlines.
Lets have a look at a route Birmingham to Brussels isn’t the farthest route in the world – in fact it’s 288 miles. (A comparable return run between Birmingham and Dublin is a 400 mile round trip which starts at £65 return)
So we’re looking at a 574 miles round trip.
Map – Great Circle Mapper – www.gcmap.com
Comparing two sets of flights – Depart Friday, Return Saturday:
That’s an effective £0.79… or near enough near enough $1.20 a mile in the air, with a full fare economy ticket.
Now lets shift those days 1 day forward, so the Saturday night falls in:
So now, the “economy” fares turn up. How… convenient. Not. This works out at £0.22 or $0.34 a mile in the air.
And of course, Brussels Airlines will happily charge you £4.50 to issue the ticket if not via PayPal.
Now there are some airlines that have thrown away the Saturday night rule (British Airways and Aer Lingus are two airlines that come to mind when it comes to single fare pricing).
Now, considering there are options (Such as Train+Eurostar), and other airlines if I venture down to London, this is silly pricing (and where Brussels Airlines I suspect makes a few pennies) isn’t conducive to those who just want to go away for a night.
And this is where low-cost airlines will happily eat legacy airline breakfast, lunch dinner and after-dinner snacks, by providing flexibility at a lower price point.
And why Brussels? I’ll be at Travel Magic 2013.
Whilst I won’t be speaking (and really – do you want to hear how to make your life better in the back of the plane from me? If you do, drop me an email ;)), I will be attending along with Lucky from One Mile at a Time (who is also speaking)
If you’re there.. look out for me – I’ll have a bunch of “Remove before flight” keyrings to give away!