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Big reaction to rising airfares from Bangkok


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OPINION | by Michael Bridge

 

Suvarnabhumi airport these past few days has experienced a big increase in traffic both inbound and outbound due to the relaxing of Covid regulations.

 

“Travel will see a strong resurgence because conditions [for entry] will return to almost pre-Covid normality’ said a CAAT director. 

 

Well, his predictions seem to be coming true, as the urge to travel by a global population coming out of the pandemic and lockdowns is gaining momentum.
 
We at AseanNow.com have received just under 11,000 views on the topic of surging airfares and to date nearly one hundred of you have posted a reply.

 

Certainly, traveling overseas to say Europe is expensive as the route from Thailand is that much longer due to the additional miles flown to avoid Russian airspace.

 

Also, that old chestnut of school holidays tends to put up airfares too.

 

In the old days one could pick up a bargain by leaving it to the last minute, but this has all changed so people are having to grab a seat straight away to avoid even higher rates.

 

This coupled with the fuel hikes have made airlines look at the budgets and schedules and inevitably we the passengers must pay more.

 

As an example, on Wednesday, I went of Qatar’s website and got the lowest return fare offered in July was THB56,340.

 

Now four days later the same fare had gone up to THB57.545.

 

Here are a cross-section of some of your replies here. 

If you booked two months in advance tickets were still cheap up until about a month or two ago. 
 
$600 for a ticket from Bangkok to Toronto up until May but now it’s $4000.


I booked a return flight to my home country back in April for October, it cost me 18,260 baht on sale, today it's on sale again at 22,595 baht, that's a 23.74% increase and on sale, WOW. 

 

There have been over two intervening years, and the price of oil and related fuels has gone up from about $50 to double that. The rise you see in flight costs doesn't seem so bad. 

 

Cashing in on school holidays. it’s a joke even I'm looking at flights for August one way £500 ish mark now ... 


I was looking this morning at quite a few reputable airlines. 

THB50k + for economy return to LHR and back
THB150k + for business to LHR and back

 

Yes, but be careful who you book with if in a desperate search. Meaning that there are some bad agents out there who will show attractive priced tickets but when the time to fly gets close you will get an email to say the flight price has changed etc. That is when the harm begins. Always better to book directly with the airline although it will be a bit more expensive. Sorry to say that some of these foreign agencies with agents calling themselves name such as Jimmy or David are to be avoided at all costs. 

 

Finally, the current expensive flights are caused by 1 / Fuel costs 2 / Reduced flights because of lack of check in staff and baggage handlers 3 / High season and school holidays.

 

If a one-way airfare from Bangkok to Phuket is cheaper than a taxi ride from Phuket airport to a destination within the island, then there must be something definitely wrong. 

 

I just booked with Aegean Airlines / Saudi Airlines Business Class £1200.The wife got 6 weeks off plus it's her birthday. And I haven't seen her in over 2 years due to covid I leave on the 18th of July ... I'm so pleased right now actually I'm buzzing with the outcome.

 

Recently booked direct return flights for BKK-LHR for Sept with Eva. Under 30K.
Quite happy with that as I think not far off from pre-Covid price?

Just booked Qatar BKK/LGW return....33,500 baht...so did quite well by the looks of it. 

 

I will not be booking air travel out of Thailand for at least the next 2 years.  It’s just good luck and planning that I live in a tropical location anyway and have no real need or desire to spend the money or endure the hassle of aircraft and airports. Just crack another beer, stay by my pool, and watch the mayhem that is air travel at the moment, from as long a distance as possible. 

 

The bottom line is unless you must travel soon, try looking at the cheaper days to fly.

 

Weekends are often busier and national holidays as well.

 

Kayak the online booking website shows the cheapest days of the month to travel which could save you a few dollars or baht.

 

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11 minutes ago, RichardColeman said:

Certainly Thai air can dictate some silly prices to LHR direct, but if BA return and EVA  return to normal then those prices will have to go down. Personally I think its about lack of airline choice and profiteering rather than fuel cost

Hopefully, and I think you’re right as airlines buy fuel on the futures market (as mentioned earlier) and what they’re using now might have been bought at prices 9 months ago. Profiteering to make up for Covid losses is my guess. BA return in October, I think (currently cargo-only flights using a 787). 

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Why the hell did BA Cancel all flights to Thailand until October, when surely the demand is there? makes no business sense whatsoever

 

Anyway In my opinion 50 -100 years airtravel may be made completely redundant for at least Europe - Asia.......Once a real hyperloop track gets built within the next 10 years, development will snowball and there will probably be continuous/many hyperloops tracks connecting Europe - Asia

 

Far Greener, More Comfortable, More Profitable for companies in the long run (No need for a driver or cabin crew etc)

 

 

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2 minutes ago, jacko45k said:

You are  mixing your tenses... the demand was not there at the time of the cancellation.... it was many months ago BA cancelled their flights to Thailand, at a time entry was very restricted, (December 2021). BA scrapped 2000 flights from Dec 21 to March 2022. It was due to reduced demand.... 

Not sure there is demand even yet, the chaos of UK airports now is deterrent enough.

 

To be honest the demand was still there, Thailand was one of the few SE Asian countries with entry and (Phuket sandbox). Dec was the start of high season , so crazy of BA to scrap flights then

 

But even then, why scrap flights for such a long period of time? All other major airlines like Qatar, Emirates, Thai Airways never took this step.....why not be flexible and just say - we will restart flights when demands picks up ...........In a business sense....it still makes no logical sense atoll

 

 

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, hydraides said:

To be honest the demand was still there, Thailand was one of the few SE Asian countries with entry and (Phuket sandbox). Dec was the start of high season , so crazy of BA to scrap flights then

 

But even then, why scrap flights for such a long period of time? All other major airlines like Qatar, Emirates, Thai Airways never took this step.....why not be flexible and just say - we will restart flights when demands picks up ...........In a business sense....it still makes no logical sense atoll

 

 

Demand was being passed to Qatar, and I contend it was certainly not there for BA. They do not fly to Phuket.

It might be something to do with the slots approach at LHR which BA have the major share of and are worth millions.

And by the way, the old BA flight on their rattling shaky old 777 was awful....

Edited by jacko45k
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4 hours ago, webfact said:

$600 for a ticket from Bangkok to Toronto up until May but now it’s $4000.

 

I have saved 209384723489032749382 baht since I've been here.

 

I have a feeling I'll only be able to buy a loaf of bread and a broken watch when I get to falang land.  

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still possible to find flights to europe in a few selected days and for short 1 week stays for around 40k baht. Have to be flexible with hours, some flights might also have long layovers.

European high season in aviation came early this year, from the beginning of June. Prices will be rising also the next month. But from the beginning of September back to around normal pre-summer 25-30k.

But if there would be the next wave in Thailand, I think many booking cancellations and chance for air fare at short notice

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Posted (edited)

The Canadian reply you report in the story is a bit far-fetched.  I just paid $1,281.00 Cdn for a late September round-trip flight  (nothing even near the reply of $4,000.00 Cdn). It was from Montreal, not Toronto, but they are only 330 miles apart. 

Plus, I have flown out of Toronto over 20 times to Bangkok, and I can tell you one thing......NEVER, EVER, you would have gotten a ticket for $600.00, that's for sure.....maybe too much Singha Beer by one of the members that day!!  LOL!!!

Edited by mushroomdave
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2 hours ago, RichardColeman said:

Certainly Thai air can dictate some silly prices to LHR direct, but if BA return and EVA  return to normal then those prices will have to go down. Personally I think its about lack of airline choice and profiteering rather than fuel cost

Eva have returned, but only 3 times a week an their fares are not that cheap out july 26 back 16 Aug nearly 2000 pounds economy return , though out Sep back october cheapest 800 return, i don't dare look what xmas is going to show, lets hope prices do fall, time will tell

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4 hours ago, richard_smith237 said:

That said, fuel is more expensive, however most of that was purchased on futures markets a while ago when the price of fuel was significantly less. 

Yes, but they don't stop buying fuel and it is my understanding that fuel is paid for upfront. Higher revenues will be required to avoid a cash flow problem.

Every chance there is also some anticipation of further increases. Very little chance of prices falling anytime soon.

What is more of a concern for people flying into the UK is potential wage settlements in the travel industry that could  lead to increases of a more permanent nature. Heathrow is already the most expensive landing in the world.

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1 hour ago, hydraides said:

Why the hell did BA Cancel all flights to Thailand until October, when surely the demand is there? makes no business sense whatsoever

Apparently, they do not have enough staff.

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1 hour ago, hydraides said:

Why the hell did BA Cancel all flights to Thailand until October, when surely the demand is there? makes no business sense whatsoever

BA did not cancel flights to Thailand. They are flying in conjunction with Qatar Airways which is in the same group, extremely good business sense under the circumstances. 

There is some possibility they may reinstate direct flights at some point.

I am no fan of BA, took them to court a few years ago, but they have become very adapt at using the group to wriggle out of trouble. It was Qatar that loaned them aircraft and crew during the strike.

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A mate booked a flight Syd to Bkk, with Quantas, $1850, normally it was 1100-1300 max 

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It's also worth bearing in mind that a lot of airlines track your cookies and IP address. So that if you keep coming back to their search page from the same device and IP, they know you're serious and they try to encourage you to 'panic a bit' by increasing the fare. People often start to worry that the next time they come on the price may be higher still, causing them to book now.

 

I'm not saying that this is the only cause, as it's clearly not. Also, it doesn't happen in every case... but it does happen.

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2 hours ago, cheapcanuck said:

Case of greedy corporations cashing in and ripping off the consumer. 

Not really. High prices put off many from flying at all. Airlines are not going to price themselves out of the market, same as any other business. Couple that with many country's economies struggling and people battling previously unheard of increases in fuel costs of every kind. They don't operate the Thai Economic 1.0 system of the fewer customers there are the more you raise prices to make up for it.

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We have paid, in the last 5 months, both decreases, and just recently, increases in airfares to France and Italy from LOS by about $300 on each occasion.

Our last flight to France our fares were reasonable and 'discounted' but these savings were due to the airlines still being needy of passengers and beginning to upturn services post Covid.

So for us it was 'swings n roundabouts' on costs of trip/fares. When we sat n went through the cost of our trip to France (in total) we saved about 6K AUD. These savings were on hotels, car hire, shopping 😊 etc. 

 

richard_smith makes note, in part, the points I see i.e. Russian airspace has been off-route for most of the airlines for quite some years, and oil companies and those in that supply/charge chain are making zero effort, despite maximum profits (the declared profits for all the big oil giants has risen, not dropped because of Russias skullduggery) OPEC has had some faux-negotiations on prices with the leader of the US and EU but made all but no concessions to support the world economy and everyday people.

 

These oil price rises, as we all know to well, are passed on to and by airlines. I am not privy to the profit margins of airlines across their services but I would guess they are both maximised, volatile, and perhaps out of their hands regards oil producers setting prices (?). 

 

In my home nation standard fuel at the pump is $2.20 + per litre - it was $1.50 last year. My mates tell me this is really straining every aspect of life at home.

 

In the US the strain on the everyday economy of citizens by big oil has shattered the relatively (by world standards) cheap gas process and bludgeoned folks.

Europe is no exception.

Middle eastern, US, and other oil producers, can supply enough oil to balance that from the Russian downturn. Some cite the global producers apart from the Ruskies as taking advantage of the war with their prices.

I had an economist tell me that the market is rigged and the removal of Russian oil from the market can easily be covered and balance quickly and easily restored. I wonder if he is correct?

 

Those who would make political book on this huge rise in fuel prices blame the incumbent government/s rather than place the blame for such processes on oil companies continuing to extricate maximum profits for each gallon sold, year in year out (except for the blip of Covid) in over a century of gob-smacking profits.

 

In the news feeds I listen to almost daily from my home soil Australia the people don't see the airlines too much nor the government to blame quite as much but are angry at the lack of control the government has on such big oil and are expressing anger and frustration at how decades of successive governments (mostly conservative) have done little but fiddle around the edges (for 'show not go') to shift our dependence on oil (and coal).

 

Here we still have cheaper fares than other 'sectors' because ours is rated differently.

 

 

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1 hour ago, howerde said:

Eva have returned

I just booked with EVA one-way BKK-SFO for about 33K baht; it might in more normal times be 5 or 10K less. I usually use my United points for any one way go, but for weeks upcoming they want 90K points one way same route coach, normally 44K. So I paid cash to EVA to save points.

Amazing backstory with EVA. I transit TPE, and apparently that transit was only reopened June 15, last month; it had been shut since August last year which played havoc with Taiwan's two main airlines. Get this, unless the rule changes in the next 2 weeks, I have to have a negative RT-PCR test for a 2 1/2 hour transit in TPE; US Immigration doesn't care for my entry. And we think Thailand has been bad (well, it has).

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Posted (edited)

For me it's just a tactic by airlines. They know that they have to ramp up slowly and get staff and services back up to effectiveness so for those who want/need to travel in this next 4 months its gonna cost (currently double).

 

Jet A1 fuel is double the cost it was a year ago in Asia, BUT according to US GOV fuel accounts for up to 20% of a large airlines costs, so why have flight costs doubled? 

 

BTW Jet A1 is now 7% cheaper than it was last week in Asia.

 

For those who can wait to travel it will come down eventually, never as low as before but not double like we are seeing now. For those holidaying its probably adding near enough to 1000 USD per pax for a holiday in Thailand. If you have not been on holiday for a while that may not matter but if your mortgage payments are going up it just may.

 

 

Edited by MRToMRT
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, jacko45k said:

Demand was being passed to Qatar, and I contend it was certainly not there for BA. They do not fly to Phuket.

It might be something to do with the slots approach at LHR which BA have the major share of and are worth millions.

And by the way, the old BA flight on their rattling shaky old 777 was awful....

 

And by the way, the old BA flight on their rattling shaky old 777 was awful....It was Even WORSE When they used their OLD 747-400 Rust Bucket.....

Edited by Nong Khai Man
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If the Air Fares are rising from BKK, then they will be rising to BKK also.

This will have a detrimental outcome upon the Tourism Sector for sure.

All people across the Globe now are facing high Inflation, and soaring costs to their way of lives.

When Money gets tight (  as it is for many now ) the first Luxury that gets dumped, is the expensive Holiday. Many people will settle for a Holiday in their own Countries, rather than spend their Money on a Two week trip to a Foreign destination.

With fewer people having the Money to travel, Thailand has to start thinking outside the Box to attract those people.

Gone are the Days when you sat back and just waited for the Money to roll in. Now it has to be worked hard for as so many Holiday Destinations are striving to gain a larger share of a very rapidly shrinking Market.

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