Cheaper to fly on AA r/t from Italy than R/T from US.

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Feb 4, 2019
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#1
Recently I was checking airfares on American Airlines (AA) for non-stop flighrs to Italy. ( Venice, Rome & Bologna) for the upcoming summer. The R/T airfares for this period from PHL to Italy in economy class generally range between $1400 and $1600. However, those flying from cities in Italy AA serves non-stop to PHL and returning to Italy paid approximately 450 Euros R/T. My question is what is the reasoning AA would changed almost three times more for travelers originating their flights from PHL vs those originating their flight from
Venice, Rome or Bologna?​
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#2
Different markets have different prices. Phil is sort of a captive hub for AA —there are likely more people from Phil traveling to Rome than vice versa.

This is crazy airline pricing but this is how they do it.
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
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#3
If you are trying to think of a way of buying a ticket on the Italian/European website, please do not. They will cancel your ticket and may not notify you.
 
Jan 19, 2018
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@AMA Can you please explain your comment? I can not see why you would not be "allowed" to purchase a ticket from a European website. My son works in Paris. He has a US credit card. Why should he not be able to book a round-trip from France? unless there is some sort of residency requirement ( we both have legal addresses in both countries).
I consistently rent cars for him on US websites such as hertz.com as the prices are lower than on hertz.fr. They do ask about your residency and he shows them his US licence. I haven't seen ( or noticed) residency requirements on AA or United websites in France, in French. I am interested in your point of view.
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
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Carol - that would be a different thing if your son is living in France. He would be in France, and would buy his ticket on the airline's EU website. He wouldn't go to the US website for the airline. The OP is located in the US. If you're in the US, and are trying to get a cheaper ticket buy booking it on American's EU site, the transaction will get flagged. People occasionally try to do this to get a lower fare and the airlines don't like it.
 
Likes: jsn55
Jul 15, 2016
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Carol - that would be a different thing if your son is living in France. He would be in France, and would buy his ticket on the airline's EU website. He wouldn't go to the US website for the airline. The OP is located in the US. If you're in the US, and are trying to get a cheaper ticket buy booking it on American's EU site, the transaction will get flagged. People occasionally try to do this to get a lower fare and the airlines don't like it.
Hello. I have bought AA tickets in 2-3 different international pages but using different (and appropiate) credit cards. For instance, I am living in Brazil therefore I have a brazilian credit card and can buy in brazilian web, but I do have as well a US credit card (with US address of course) and I am able to buy in US....and again, have a credit card from my original country (another one) and am able to buy in that market. Never ever I was flagged...what I can say from my experience is that US market tickets are more or less inmediately ticketed while for the rest I have to wait 1-2 days because they are sent to be ticketed to the other countries. When that happened I called exexc platinum line and they say that: I should just wait....but never I have been even questioned.
In my case, I am doing that (buying in different markets) mainly based on credit card choices for spent (prioritizing the one card I need to use that particular month)
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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#8
It really doesn't matter what we find - if the OP is flying from PHL to Italy, booking a ticket from Venice to PHL is useless. Thats not the direction he or she is going in. The flight prices are based on the popularity of the route and not many Europeans are flying from Venice to PHL. So it doesn't matter how cheap the seats are if they aren't going in the direction you are.
 
Likes: AMA
Feb 6, 2019
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Maybe I'm missing something, but every American flying to Italy has an eastbound leg and a westbound leg, same as an Italian flying to America but in reverse order. Therefore it doesn't matter that there is a small market of Italians traveling to America. It is simply price discrimination based on nationality.
 
Sep 25, 2018
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#10
It’s all based on demand. The prices you see are geared towards Residents of Italy. There are more US citizens going to Italy then Italians going to PHL. It’s that simple.
Actually most of the Europe traffic starts in Europe, the airlines just know that people from the US will pay more
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Maybe I'm missing something, but every American flying to Italy has an eastbound leg and a westbound leg, same as an Italian flying to America but in reverse order. Therefore it doesn't matter that there is a small market of Italians traveling to America. It is simply price discrimination based on nationality.
No it is not discrimination. It has nothing to do with nationality. One ticket is Ato B round trip. The other ticket is B to A round trip. Any nationality can fly them but they are different tickets and markets.
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
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#14
Recently I was checking airfares on American Airlines (AA) for non-stop flighrs to Italy. ( Venice, Rome & Bologna) for the upcoming summer. The R/T airfares for this period from PHL to Italy in economy class generally range between $1400 and $1600. However, those flying from cities in Italy AA serves non-stop to PHL and returning to Italy paid approximately 450 Euros R/T. My question is what is the reasoning AA would changed almost three times more for travelers originating their flights from PHL vs those originating their flight from​
Venice, Rome or Bologna?​
Keep in mind that fares are tiered, so higher demand will increase the price. It is possible that the round trip tickets for A - B were sold out in the lower fares whereas tickets for B - A may still have some of the lower fares available.

Maybe I'm missing something, but every American flying to Italy has an eastbound leg and a westbound leg, same as an Italian flying to America but in reverse order. Therefore it doesn't matter that there is a small market of Italians traveling to America. It is simply price discrimination based on nationality.
The economy is not the same in every country. You can and do pay more or less for the exact same product in various countries. This is even true within US, prices can vary widely on the same product even within the local area. Prices are normally based on demand and local market conditions unless they are artificially controlled.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Dwayne has a very good point. I just checked something chosing some random dates in May.

The fare code for the PHL to Rome at $1400 plus dollars is Economy (fare Code Q).

The fare code for Rome to PHL for the same exact dates is $560 in Economy Class (fare code O).

Fare Code Q is higher than O in the cost structure of AA -- here is the price in descending order Y, B, H, K, M, V, Q, S, N, L, O -- O is the cheapest fare.

So it appears that the lowest price in economy is still available with the origin in Rome but not from PHL. So I would not call that discrimination at all.
 
Jun 11, 2016
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#16
This has been going on forever. I made my first business trip to India in 1993 and the "old India hands"in my firm told me that if I was going to travel there regularly, I should buy a one way ticket for the first trip and then buy round trip tickets in India as that would reduce the cost by over 50%. It worked and became my modus operandi
 
Likes: krisseye
Aug 9, 2017
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#17
The OP should also attempt to introduce some flexibility into the schedule. I see some Air Lingus flights, mid May and a sample trip length of about 10 days that go from Newark airport > Dublin > Rome and they are priced around $800 RT. Sure you have some layover time in Dublin but having done that routing it isn't all that bad to get up, walk around a bit, grab a bite and an Irish coffee, and then be on your way.