The MOST expensive flight you have ever purchased

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  fatbear 11 Feb 2017
at 09:31

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)

  • MartynSinclair

    I spent a wonderful evening with a close relative who is relocating to the west coast of the states for 3 – 5 years with one of the big tech companies.

    Due to the politics of the tech company accounting & despite the fact he will be travelling regularly back to the UK, he needed to buy a single ticket from LON to the West Coast USA.

    His ticket cost a whopping £7340 (single in business) – the fact that a return would have been cheaper was not an issue..

    What is the most you have paid for ANY airline ticket in any class…..


    Most ever was CHF 15,000 for a First class return from Zurich to Johannesburg.
    Comparative more, was a BA First class single from Cape Town to LHR at £5,600!


    It’s all relative, but last week I needed a one way ticket HEL-MAN at the last minute. £768. In Economy……….


    Nothing in that order of magnitude, about £1500 for a one way BAH LHR.


    If i need a flight suddenly, i use my miles, and generally use them for one way flights, and return with a different route and Airline for a varied trip.

    The value of one way Miles First fares, (eg Etihad First A380 apartments AUH-Oz), for one sector would cost £6-9000 each! Great value.

    UK train fares can be shocking too, with a friend missing his train by a few seconds due to a security alert on the tube, he had to pay £355 for a one way Standard seat London to Newcastle as a result. He was refused a refund or compensation!


    £5000 one way LHR to JFK on the 11th last Concorde flight. Worth every penny!


    8K Euro from CH to NZ via SIN in J


    In 2002 my wife’s brother was hospitalised in Spain with a suspected brain haemorrhage (thankfully he recovered). My wife paid about £900 for a flexible Iberia economy flight LGW to ALC leaving within a few hours. She could have paid £300 with EasyJet for a flight the next morning, but in the circumstances understandably paid for the more expensive flight.

    I was stuck in Bangkok for 11 days during the Icelandic volcano incident. I had never been to Bangkok before and was only there on a Thai airlines transit between HKG-LHR. I was on a bmi diamondclub redemption ticket, was rebooked but had to wait a few days to get home. I wanted to return asap, for work and there was civil unrest going on – on a rare visit out, I was close to a grenade explosion near Silom.

    I paid +£2500 for a one way Austrian Airlines Biz class flight to LHR via VIE. This got me back two days before bmi could get me home. The fare I paid was actually cheaper than the economy fares on sale.


    Not sure if this really counts, £6480 for a Oneworld RTW in business (I actually bought 2!).

    I do recall back in about 1986 paying £280 for a last minute single on SAS from Aalborg to London via Copenhagen. As it was “full fare econ” it was in business as was the norm back then.


    I seem to remember paying around £300 return London to New York on Laker Airways back in 1978. If you think about the lack of APD, the cost of fuel at the time and inflation, that would equate to paying (at a wild guess) £3000 for a no-frills economy flight today.


    BugAdvisor – I recall Laker’s Skytrain being launched in 1977 and the one-way LGW-JFK price was little more than £59. Seats were allocated on a first come, first served basis and passengers queued up every morning at Victoria station (and maybe LGW too).

    Surely the Skytrain price wouldn’t have risen so much by 1978 ?

    This piece from The Economist’s archives lists the various London-New York prices in 1977.


    Thinking back I think it was Laker out Pan Am back. It was a school trip and I didn’t have to queue for tickets. I was sure it was £300 but I may have inflated that over the years of telling the story. I’ll need to check with my Mother (now 88!) as it wasn’t actually me who paid!
    But even at £59 that’s still expensive compared to what an airline makes out of a New York flight these days.


    BugAdvisor – I would need to double-check but, as far as I can recall, every seat on Skytrain was sold at the same price.

    In other words there was no cross-subsidisation whereby airlines today subsidise their low economy fares by marking up the price of premium class seats.


    on a single flight no more than £2800 out to Asia and back. but on the same booking I used to do RTW’s including multi stops in the US for around £8000 each time


    Everything is relative and it depends on when one bought the ticket and what one’s income was at the time. Two that stand out for me was London to Keflavik (Iceland) return in the 1970s for about £220 – that was then 6 weeks of my wages – and a RTW ticket in 1985 that went LHR-HKG-SYD-LAX-SFO-LHR. £900, all economy, and again about 6 weeks of my wages at the time.

    Actually at the time I thought the RTW ticket was pretty much a bargain. But the Icelandair ticket is interesting: 40 years later a return to Keflavik costs almost exactly the same number of nominal pounds.

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