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This topic contains 26 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Ahmad 28 May 2017
at 08:57
.

Viewing 12 posts - 16 through 27 (of 27 total)

  • capetonianm
    Participant

    This paragraph says the opposite of what I intended due to a typo:

    I think the regulation only applies to the fare levels, and not to the governing rules which sit behind them.

    What it should have said is :

    I think the deregulation only applies to the fare levels, and not to the governing rules which sit behind them

    Note – from Site Admin – I’ve corrected it, above.
    .


    Ahmad
    Participant

    I will gladly stand corrected on this by an expert, but so far as I am aware airline fares are completely deregulated insofar as IATA is concerned. There may be domestic rules governing fares applied by governments or bilateral treaties governing fares between counties relating to air transportation between them that I am not aware of, but IATA no longer imposes a minimum fare requirement between two points nor does it limit imposition of restrictions on fares or refunds. IATA does have coordinated fares for interline carriage using which one can travel in a particular class or a combination of classes between any two points on the globe served by IATA airlines on any one or combination of these airlines, all on a single ticket. These fares are invariably much higher than fares sold by individual airlines.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    We used IATA fares as you (Ahmad) correctly pointed out, and not very often as they are so high, and also for prorate purposes for interline settlements via the IATA Clearing House.

    I believe that some ASAs (air service agreements) still include regulated fares, but as I have not worked in that area for a while, that information may be out of date.

    The only time I can remember our ticket desk selling an IATA fare was when a loudmouthed obnoxious passenger demanded a ticket that he could use for a transatlantic journey on any airline, any time, and flight, and any route. My ticket desk agent started to explain to him that it would be a very expensive fare and that there were alternatives, at which he yelled at her to “do what I ****ing instruct you.” The staff had a directive to call me to the front when they encountered difficult or abusive passengers, so I was called. She explained the situation, and I told the passenger we’d do as he wished, and we did. A few weeks later he complained that he’d been ‘overcharged’ and was going ‘sue our asses off’ in his charming words. Since it fell to me to deal with the complaint, I wrote back to him and said I looked forward to seeing him in court.

    We never heard anything more from him.


    Ahmad
    Participant

    The only time I can remember our ticket desk selling an IATA fare was when a loudmouthed obnoxious passenger demanded a ticket that he could use for a transatlantic journey on any airline, any time, and flight, and any route.

    Pardon my ignorance in the matter, can you please give an example of an IATA fare that allows one to fly on any airline, any time, any flight AND any route? From what I understood in the days of paper tickets, one could get an open ticket with YY listed in the carrier column and if it was a first class ticket you were permitted to fly any other class if First was not offered or fully occupied. After having used the first coupon, one could fly any carrier between any two sebsequent points on the ticket. On many occasions I simply removed a coupon myself without having flown a sector to resume my onward journey from the next point on the ticket. On other occasions I simply asked at check-in that they lift two successive coupons if I wanted to go directly from point C on my ticket to point E without going through point D. But even this is said to be no longer possible without having the ticket reissued these days. In fact even where I take an earlier/later flight the same day, the coupon always needs ‘revalidation’ meaning I cannot just turn up at check-in and ask to be put on the flight if they have available space. So I am really interested in finding out if there are any tickets available these days giving me the flexibility to fly to my chosen destination using any carrier, at any time via any route of my choosing without the need for reissuing the ticket.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Ahmad, first of all I didn’t say that there was such a thing as “an IATA fare that allows one to fly on any airline, any time, any flight AND any route” I said that the passenger asked for a ticket “that he could use for a transatlantic journey on any airline, any time, and flight, and any route.” Two different things.

    The closest to what he asked for would have been a YY fare. All airlines publish their own fares, and in addition some participate in YY fares on certain routes, or all routes, or none at all, and part of the fare display on a GDS indicates this, although it’s not much used. Assuming that a passenger paid a YY fare JNB-YVR-JNB, he could have been issued a ticket JNB-BA-LHR-BA-YVR-AC-AMS-KL-JNB, assuming that BA, AC, and KL all participate in YY fares between JNB and YVR and that the routing fits into the MPM.

    On arrival at LHR, he could have chosen to continue his journey LHR-AC-YYZ-AC-YVR, in which case his ticket would have had to be reissued (not revalidated, I’ll come on to that) to cover the new routing, assuming again that it fitted into the MPM, as IATA fares are generally mileage fares rather than routing fares as is the case with single carrier/alliance fares.

    Once he got to YVR, he could have chosen to travel back YVR-AA-ORD-AA-FRA-SA-JNB, again subject to AA and SA participating in YY fares and to the mileage fitting into the MPM. That illustrates the flexibility of YY fares.

    A revalidation takes place when the passenger changes the flight, but not the routing. In the days of paper tickets it was done with a small sticker containing the new flight details being stuck on the coupon and stamped by the agent. These days it is done electronically on the ETKT. As you say, “even where I take an earlier/later flight the same day, the coupon always needs ‘revalidation’ meaning I cannot just turn up at check-in and ask to be put on the flight if they have available space.” That is correct. (LCCs may have their own different procedures since they are generally ticketless).

    If a coupon is made out to carrier ‘A’ and the passenger chooses to use carrier ‘B’ for that segment, there may be a need for carrier ‘A’ to endorse the coupon to carrier ‘B’, so that they were paid for the transportation. In the case of YY fares, most carriers had and still have self-endorsement agreements, but sometimes a manual or verbal endorsement had to be obtained, which was often a pain as the passenger was sent to the desk or office of the carrier from whom the endorsement was required.

    You also refer to tearing out unused coupons or stapling 2 coupons together where a direct flight was used, as per your example : “lift two successive coupons if I wanted to go directly from point C on my ticket to point E without going through point D”. That can’t be done electronically so the ticket has to be reissued. A few airlines can still reissue ETKT to paper and will do it the old way but in practice I don’t think it’s done any more.

    As for removing coupons and not completing journeys, most carrier filed fares now have a paragraph stating that ‘full and sequential use of all flight coupons must be made’.
    E.g. : “This fare is only valid when flight coupons are used in the same order as shown on the ticket if any of the coupons is not used in the sequence shown on the ticket or not used a fare readjusment will be applied and the fare will be recalculated based on the new journey requested”
    This is meant to prevent someone from buying a ticket DUB-LHR-CPT-LHR-DUB for a lower fare than just the flights LHR CPT LHR would cost. Clearly the DUB LHR coupon has to be used as a noshow would result in the onward sectors being cancelled, but the passenger could end his journey in London and not use the LHR-DUB coupon. The airlines have various mechanisms in place to try to prevent this as they see it as ‘abuse’ or revenue reduction. Whether or not we agree with this approach is another matter and has been much debated elsewhere.

    I trust this clarifies your doubts on this rather complex matter.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    As a matter of interest, I wonder what happened to ‘Ahmad’ who seemed to be so determined to contest every point I made, and then, when I took the trouble to give a comprehensive answer to his question, disappeared like the morning dew.

    I suspect he just wanted an argument, and having been proved wrong, disappeared into obscurity.


    Ahmad
    Participant

    Sorry to disappoint you Sir, I have not disappeared but simply did not carry on the debate because I just didn’t feel good about being trolled. If you insist I will answer each of your points. You do, I’m sure, understand that some of us have a life other than the Forum.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I am pleased you replied.

    I think it’s just a question of common courtesy, Ahmad. You clearly had some lack of understanding on the complex questions you asked and I went to the trouble of giving you a comprehensive reply, as it is one of the few things I happen to know about, and am happy to share knowledge with those who might benefit from it.

    The least you could have done was to say ‘thank you’, but you didn’t. If anyone was ‘trolling’ (I believe it’s now called ‘trollying’ on this site!) it was you, but I didn’t feel it appropriate to call you out on that at an earlier stage, even though with each of your responses it became clearer that you were doing so.

    If you wish, please do answer each of my points. I note that your profile states : “Barrister. Specialist in International Commercial Arbitration, Public Utility Regulation & Commercial Law” . If you think I’m reluctant to take you on because of that, I can assure you are wrong. On the other hand, I do have more productive and enjoyable things to do with my day.

    I’ll refrain from making comments about barristers, lawyers, and so on, since I have some in my circle of friends.


    Ahmad
    Participant

    Before I respond to @capetonianm, I’d like to clarify:

    First, if I have caused any offence to anyone on the Forum, please accept my apology as none was intended.
    Second, I do not wish to comment on or answer snide remarks aimed at me or anyone else because I feel it is not consistent with the object or purpose of this Forum.

    @capetonianm, on this occasion I do wish to respond to each of the points made by you but would like to clarify that the intention is not to score points but to set the record straight.

    Until your post of 23rd April 2017 at 10:48, in my opinion at least, we were more or less in agreement albeit with slightly divergent points of view on moot points of what may or may not be legally enforceable in some jurisdictions. I will confine myself to your said post and if you still feel I was trolling you and wish that I elaborate on your earlier posts, I will gladly do so.

    Ahmad, first of all I didn’t say that there was such a thing as “an IATA fare that allows one to fly on any airline, any time, any flight AND any route” I said that the passenger asked for a ticket “that he could use for a transatlantic journey on any airline, any time, and flight, and any route.” Two different things.

    The reason I asked about such a ticket was that you had asserted:

    The only time I can remember our ticket desk selling an IATA fare was when a loudmouthed obnoxious passenger demanded a ticket that he could use for a transatlantic journey on any airline, any time, and flight, and any route. My ticket desk agent started to explain to him that it would be a very expensive fare and that there were alternatives, at which he yelled at her to “do what I ****ing instruct you.” The staff had a directive to call me to the front when they encountered difficult or abusive passengers, so I was called. She explained the situation, and I told the passenger we’d do as he wished, and we did.

    I wrongly or rightly assumed that you were suggesting that such a ticket had i fact been issued. As I was genuinely interested in finding out whether it was possible to get a ticket which would allow such flexibility, I asked the question.

    In your response, after saying that I had wrongly attributed a statement to you that you had not made despite your having said “I told the passenger we’d do as he wished, and we did”, you said:”The closest to what he asked for would have been a YY fare”. After saying it you go into an elaborate discourse describing, in considerable technical detail, the extent of flexibility of YY tickets. Unfortunately, I was already aware of these details and your post did not add to anything relevant to the discussion I had not already said in my earlier post while posing my question, albeit in layman terms (to save time and make it more understandable in today’s terminology as paper tickets, stickers, physical endorsements on tickets etc. are no longer in vogue). It also left me with the impression that you had actually not given the passenger the ticket he had asked for (perhaps because it was not possible to issue such a ticket), hence his ire and threat to legal recourse. I did not want to point score and call you out on your back tracking nor did I wish to troll you and point out that you had perhaps mislead your client into believing s/he had been issued a ticket with the desired flexibility. These are the reasons I simply chose not to carry on the discussion.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Rather pedantic, nitpicking over a semantic as you might do in court but not really appropriate in this context, when I was merely offering some help, and you made a wrong assumption.

    I have no further comment, m’lud!


    Sanran
    Participant

    Nothing is better than a real person you know well to deal with. I always go to the same travel agent, no matter if for a single night hotel booking or a complex three-week-tour, and he serves me excellently even when time difference would justify him to be sleeping. And finally as there is a problem or an issue he always fights for my rights.


    Ahmad
    Participant

    Welcome to the Forum @Sanran. I completely agree with you that when my travel agent has done my bookings he always fights for me when things need fixing. It is a great advantage if you have a competent and reliable agent.

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