Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Flight tickets paradox

Do you remember the time when you could book flights for a relatively high fixed price and still for that price you’d have to make sure a Saturday night is included? Moreover, a one-way ticket was three times as expensive as a return. Remember? Several years ago this still was the case. Thanks to the budget airlines not anymore. Now we live in a complete chaos which appears to be quite fun if you actually take some time to puzzle around. Here’s a little case study.

Suppose you live or stay in Milan and have some business to attain to in Umea (Sweden).  The cheapest flight according to Vliegwinkel.nl is €532 and that includes two stops in-between and spending about 10 hours at the airports and in the air. And does not include €15 handling costs.

Well, if you are heading North and spend so much money and time to get there anyway, why not visit your friends in Norway? And while you’re there why not add to your country number and spend a couple of days in a Baltic capital (Riga, Vilnius or Tallinn)? And if you hit the road for a longer time, why not visit your parents who live in the Netherlands? Use the sites like cheaptickets.nl or vliegwinkel.nl to find the flights, but book them directly with the airline.
Here we go:

Milan-Umea – €104
Umea-Riga – €62
Riga-Oslo - €37
Oslo-Amsterdam - €44
Amsterdam-Milan - €57
5 flights with 3 different airlines.

Now do the math. Absolutely right: €304! It leaves you €128 (+€15 if you wish) to cover a couple of hotel nights and some meals.

Long live flight tickets chaos!

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