IATA published fares
No one can talk about fares without mentioning IATA organization (International Air Transport Association). Without obtaining accreditation from this international organization none of the airlines can perform any scheduled flight (first three digits on any international ticket are the IATA airline code: "Aeroflot" - 555 "Luft Hansa" - 220, etc.). IATA also standardizes the international fare policy and accredits travel agencies. International basic fares regulated by IATA, which do not depend from the airline, we will call IATA fares. The term "published fares" is applied to these tariffs, i.e. information about them is given in the fare guide and is available in all computer reservation systems.
Airlines Published fares
Another, perhaps the largest type of fares - is published fares of airlines, i.e. fare for a given direction and given carrier. These fares also cannot be set and changed without the consent of IATA and their values are similar to IATA fares. The airline also may publish fares which have no analogues among IATA fares, but only by IATA consent, which in this case represents the interests of all carriers and states that have a commercial interest in this area.
These two groups of fares are used to calculate complex routes when using several carriers.
Airlines Confidential fares
It's really expensive to buy a ticket with published fare, for example, the cheapest published fare for the route Kiev - Amsterdam – Kiev by Dutch Airlines "KLM" is 994 U.S. dollars (YPX3M – the most interesting thing is that it is very restricted fare, you must buy ticket within three days from the date of booking and you can not return it). It is obvious that such ticket can be used only in case of need, for example: you fly Kiev - Amsterdam with "MAU", and fly back Amsterdam - Vienna - Kiev by "Austrian Airlines" (1/2 YPX3M + 1/2 BPX3M = the same 994 US dollars for this route is probably the minimum fare). If you have an easy route and you have chosen a carrier, then confidential fares of airlines at your services. As is clear from the name, these tariffs are trade secrets of airline (for other IATA carriers ), and are determined by demand and competition in this area.
Those fares that do not have any restrictions are called normal. First (usually denoted by "F"), business ("C") classes and a full annual economic class ("Y") tickets refer to this type of fare. Tickets which are issued on the basis of these fares are usually can be fully refunded, dates and routes can be changed freely, also these tickets are not limited either by date or by expiration date.
The most extensive category of fares which is used by vast majority of the passengers. The logic of the airlines is obvious here - the cheaper the fare, the more restrictions are applied to it. Therefore, it makes sense to consider the basic conditions of the use and restrictions of special fares more detailed.
Usually, all fares of this group have the minimum and maximum length of stay in the destination point (the so-called Minimum stay and Maximum stay). With rare exceptions, most of the special fares have a minimum stay of Saturday night (so-called Sunday Rule) and a maximum of one month. For example, you fly to Paris with "Air France" airline on Saturday and return to Kiev on Sunday, the same week: the EUAV ticket price (confidential company fare) will be 399 USD ("Sunday rule" is discharged). If you fly the same route from Monday to Wednesday, i.e. you don't stay for the Saturday night in Paris, than the ticket price will be 799 USD.
Another important criterion is the presence of stopovers along the route . Stopover is a stop for more than a day. Almost all special fares either do not allow such stops or require additional payment for such an opportunity.
Of course, all special fares have fixed dates of departure and arrival, change of these dates is prohibited or may be allowed but with substantial fines. In rare cases, it is allowed to issue this ticket again for new dates with a bigger price. Refund of the special fare ticket may be done only in exceptional cases.
Another distinctive feature of this fare group is the impossibility of its booking - in the rules of application it is indicated that the payment and issuing of your ticket should be made no later than 24 - 72 hours after booking the ticket, participation in Waiting List is also limited. The quota of seats is extremely limited. Obviously it will be difficult to buy the cheapest ticket at the period of high season.
The cheapest fare group is the so-called "SUPER SAVER". This group includes the fares with the prefix "super." The most common are "super-apex" and "super-pex" These fares have a lot of restrictions, starting from Deadline, i.e. the latest date for ticket purchase on such fare (most frequent: 21 days, 14 days, 7, 3 days, and vice versa - not earlier than 7 days, not earlier than 3 days) to the so-called "Blackout" days - days when you can't fly on this fare.
Recently Special Offers and various Promotional fares became significantly widespread. Their appearance is connected with the desire of airlines to fill unloaded flights in the low season, to attract passengers to new flights and to maintain competitiveness in a specific direction of the market. Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of these programs - it is their unpredictability. It is impossible to predict in advance what airline and for what direction will make a special offer, what will be its duration and the cost of the ticket.
Normal (full) fare
A passenger who has paid for the ticket on a normal (full) fare, has several advantages. Booking, payment and ticketing are not regulated. Validity of tickets is one year, there are no requirements for minimum stay period in the country of destination, there are no limits for the number of stops on the route. You can change the departure date without penalty in most cases. There is a possibility of adjusting or changing the route. Return of the ticket is also carried out without penalty. You can buy a one way ticket, if it does not violate the rules established by the destination country.
The fare period is set depending on the direction: six months, three months and one month.
For some directions there is a minimum stay period in the destination country, the so-called Sunday rule, i.e. no matter what day of the week you fly, you have to spend the Saturday night at this place, and you can fly back only next Sunday, or after it.
You can change the date of the return flight within the validity period of fare. If you return the ticket not on the day of departure, as a rule, the ticket may be refunded without penalty, but with retention of Aeroflot $ 1 fees.
If you didn't use your ticket by your own fault money may not be returned in some cases. It depends on the direction of the flight and the APEX fare rules for this area.
Usually the ticket is valid up to three months. Dates of departure and arrival are indicated at the time of booking.
Ticket return is possible only in case of refusal no later than the day before departure. Then you pay fine installed on this direction and get back the rest of the ticket price.
If you refuse to fly on the day of departure or after that day you completely lose your right to refund the ticket, but if you want to save your seat and realize that you could not warn the company about the change of the departure or arrival date in advance, during the period of the ticket validity you have the right to ask to rebook a ticket with a higher fare and pay the difference between fares. Date of departure, as a rule, can be changed only after the payment of penalties.
PEX fares have a minimum length of stay in the destination country. There is the Sunday rule in some areas, i.e. you have to spend the Saturday night at destination place, and you can fly back only next Sunday, or after it.
If you didn't use your ticket by your own fault it may be refunded partly (minus fine) or not refunded at all.
Validity period depends on the direction. Any passenger aged 2 to 25 years who approved documentarily his/her age can buy Youth Fare ticket.
Youth discount can be applied to the normal economy class fare and for sightseeing fare in some areas. There are special published youth fares for flights in some countries. They are regulated by special rules.
Refund or partial refund of unused ticket depends on the direction. Sometimes the ticket cannot be returned, sometimes it can be refunded partly (minus fine).
Fare for school groups
It is used for flights in some European countries for schoolchildren and students in the age of 19 and an accompanying leader. Purpose of travel – improving of education level and cultural exchange. Minimum group size - 10 children plus one adult who buys a reduced fare ticket. Discounts for children under two and twelve years for the reduced fare is not available. Terms of the fare for school groups are governed by special rules.
It is used for flights in limited number of countries. 50 percent discount is given for one spouse for the first, business or economy class fare. Validity of the ticket is a month. Additional discounts for marital fare is not available.
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