Airlines - we need to talk. You’re bleeding cash, and I’m ready to spend - so let me see something worth booking...
I’m eager to start planning future travel
After being in lockdown for weeks on end (admittedly, the UK’s version is nowhere near as harsh as in other countries, as we’ve been able to enjoy daily exercise outside), I’ve got a severe case of cabin fever and need some future travel to look forward to.
I don’t even mind being patient. I’d be happy enough just to lock in travel for early 2021 and let you sit on my cash for the best part of a year (while taking my chances that you’ll still be in business, of course) - as long as the price is right.
Every day, we scour the market for the best business class and first class airfares and the ones we like best make it to our Great Deals page.
But the vast majority of fares I’ve been looking at just aren’t worth it. In some cases they are more expensive than prices we’ve seen in the past - which makes no sense when airlines have never been more desperate for some income.
Most of the deals I’m seeing just aren’t attractive enough to book
I’ve come close to pulling the trigger on a couple of deals in the last few days (but ultimately decided they just aren’t attractive enough to go ahead).
First up are these first class fares from Budapest, Hungary to North America with Swiss. Honolulu is a great deal, and Star Alliance members would earn a truck load of miles with this itinerary:
For around the same price, you can travel to multiple cities in the US mainland. The cheapest I’ve found so far is to Charleston (which is a great place to visit, as is nearby Savannah):
There are also good prices to Asia, and I do like this fare to Singapore (via Bangkok), which can be reconfigured so that you get to spend a few days in Thailand before taking the next flight to Singapore (with either Thai Airways or Singapore Airlines).
I’m using Swiss’ historic companion fare offers (where you needed to book two or more tickets) as a benchmark for deciding whether to go ahead. In the past, Swiss has offered first class tickets from London to Hong for just £1,900 (USD 2,400) per person - meaning the current Asia deals aren’t worth biting at.
Sure, those £1,900 fares were based on two people travelling, but I still think it’s a fair benchmark for how low an airline might be willing to go on a particular route (and with the current trend for keeping a portion of seats empty, I can’t imagine companion fares will be a big thing for a while).
I’ve also got my eye on Qatar Airways, hoping that its regular Bucharest - Colombo (via Doha) business class tickets for around £950 reappear. Right now, the cheapest Qatar fare on the route I can find is £1350:
I reckon most of the deals I come across at the moment are 15-20% too high, and therefore not worth booking.
So, airlines - if you want us to start spending, you need to do your bit and give us the incentive we are waiting for. Heck, I’d even be happy to pay what you’ve been happy to charge in the past - so take my money!
Am I the only one ready to part with their cash for the thrill of booking some luxury travel?