Whenever there’s an airline or hotel mistake fare/rate and they don’t end up honoring it, you’ll see people argue “well you should have known it was a mistake, get over the fact that they won’t honor it.” Perhaps that’s sometimes the case, though in this age of online/viral media, it’s not out of the question that an airline or hotel would offer a $0.01 rate as a promotion, especially if those seats or hotel rooms would otherwise go empty. After all, there’s a lot of potential for ancillary revenue, be it bag fees with an airline or dining/spa spend at a hotel.
But that’s not the point of this post. Rather I want to point out how absolutely absurd airline pricing is, even when it’s not a mistake. If you know a lot about cheap first and business class tickets, you probably know just how much cheaper some airports are to fly out of than others.
Colombo, Sri Lanka, is well known for having very cheap first and business class tickets. I just stumbled upon the start of a trip report by BrewerSEA on FlyerTalk, whereby he flew an award ticket to Colombo and returned on a cheap, paid first class ticket. For example, take a look at the cost of a first class ticket from Colombo to Los Angeles:
No, that’s not a typo. That’s three segments in Emirates first class (including one on the Airbus 380), one segment in British Airways first class, and one segment in American Flagship Service first class, all for ~$2,450.
Here’s what’s crazier. The cheapest fare for that routing is actually in business class for ~$1,800:
Anyone wanna guess what the cheapest fare is on the same routing going from Los Angeles to Colombo in first class?
Yep, over $12,000.
You’ve gotta love the airlines…