The $615 return air fare to Mildura for Easter 2015

 
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Perhaps the railways should follow the airlines, as the train fills up the tickets become incrementally more costly thus improving the rate of return for running the train and reducing the cost to the taxpayer.
RTT_Rules
That sort of practice is called yield management - trying to get the highest revenue per service operated.  You generally try and differentiate fares in some way too - for example business travellers can often be convinced to pay more for fundamentally the same basic travel service, in exchange for ticketing flexibility which notionally costs the service provider nothing.  It would be very good to see more of it for regional passenger rail in Australia, but often the operators hands are tied with things like fares and the availability of concessions set by regulation.

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
That sort of practice is called yield management - trying to get the highest revenue per service operated.  You generally try and differentiate fares in some way too - for example business travellers can often be convinced to pay more for fundamentally the same basic travel service, in exchange for ticketing flexibility which notionally costs the service provider nothing.  It would be very good to see more of it for regional passenger rail in Australia, but often the operators hands are tied with things like fares and the availability of concessions set by regulation.
donttellmywife
Agree,
The airlines when not operating on govt contract services do it (as Mike as clearly pointed out). But with rail, its not done, trains fill and then thats it. The govt (taxpayer) is not getting any benefit (relief) from high demand leading to posts such as Mike's.

Why not list the current fares as advance booking and from say 50% capacity the fares start to rise 5% with each 10% occupied. Likewise tickets purchased within say 7 days travel get a premium
OAP and other discounts are limited in advance bookings.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
Sometimes with airlines, it can often go the other way, particularly in the LOTFAP (Land Of The Free And Paranoid, located between Canada and Mexico), whereby airlines will start offering cheaper tickets in the leadup to a flight in order to sell seats that would otherwise be empty - a seat cannot be sold after the departure of the flight.

Of course this assumes that there are people like me, who will often take a weekend away on a whim, but only if the airfares are cheap enough.

Dave
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Hell.  Was that a QANTAS service?
bevans
Nope, it was an ANA service. The aircraft suffered a complete failure of one engine when taking off, and had only gained about 50 feet of altitude, it turned slightly and landed wheels up in a paddock off the end of the runway. No injuries, but bent aircraft.
  K-Class Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Perhaps the railways should follow the airlines, as the train fills up the tickets become incrementally more costly thus improving the rate of return for running the train and reducing the cost to the taxpayer.
RTT_Rules
This is exactly what is done by Amtrak in the US. I remember reading an article in "Trains magazine" some time in 2013 or early 2014 explaining the intricacies of how the Amtrak ticket pricing system now works.  The article also mentioned that Amtrak cost recovery made a noticeable improvement when they switched to this system and found zero reduction in rider ship even with higher fairs.

Matt
  joffie Chief Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Poorly researched thread.

[color=#2b6dcc][size=2][font=DroidSans, Arial, sans-serif][color=#36424a][size=4]Booking Summary[/size][/color][url=https://fly.virginaustralia.com/SSW2010/VAVA/webqtrip.html?execution=e1s1#modify-search][color=#be0634][size=1]Modify Search[/size][/color][/url][/font][/size][/color][size=2][size=2][color=#36424a][size=2][font=DroidSans, Arial, sans-serif]Departing Flights[/font][/size][/color][size=2][ol][size=2][li][size=2][right][url=https://fly.virginaustralia.com/SSW2010/VAVA/webqtrip.html?execution=e1s1#][color=#be0634][size=2] [/size][/color][/url][/right][size=2][size=2]Saver[/size] [size=2] [/size][/size][/size][/li][li][size=2]VA1615[/size][/li][li][size=2][b][size=2]Depart:[/size] [size=2]Melbourne[/size][/b][/size][/li][li][size=2][size=2]Thu Apr 02 2015 10:20 AM[/size][/size][/li][li][size=2]Economy[/size][/li][li][size=2][b][size=2]Arrive:[/size] [size=2]Mildura[/size][/b][/size][/li][li][size=2][size=2]Thu Apr 02 2015 11:25 AM[/size][/size][/li][/size][/ol]

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[size=2][color=#36424a][size=2][font=DroidSans, Arial, sans-serif]Returning Flights[/font][/size][/color][size=2][ol][size=2][li][size=2][right][url=https://fly.virginaustralia.com/SSW2010/VAVA/webqtrip.html?execution=e1s1#][color=#be0634][size=2] [/size][/color][/url][/right][size=2][size=2]Saver[/size] [size=2] [/size][/size][/size][/li][li][size=2]VA1614[/size][/li][li][size=2][b][size=2]Depart:[/size] [size=2]Mildura[/size][/b][/size][/li][li][size=2][size=2]Mon Apr 06 2015 11:55 AM[/size][/size][/li][li][size=2]Economy[/size][/li][li][size=2][b][size=2]Arrive:[/size] [size=2]Melbourne[/size][/b][/size][/li][li][size=2][size=2]Mon Apr 06 2015 12:55 PM[/size][/size][/li][/size][/ol]

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[size=2][color=#36424a][size=2][font=DroidSans, Arial, sans-serif][size=2]Guests:[/size] [size=2]1[/size][/font][/size][/color][/size]
[font=DroidSans, Arial, sans-serif][color=#36424a]Price Summary[/color][ul][size=2][li][size=2][size=2]Fares[/size][size=2][url=https://fly.virginaustralia.com/SSW2010/VAVA/webqtrip.html?execution=e1s1#][color=#be0634][size=2]View[/size][/color][/url][/size][right][color=#be0634][size=2][b][size=2][size=2][size=2]$[/size] [size=2]295.16[/size][/size][/size][/b][/size][/color][/right][/size][/li][li][size=2][size=2]Taxes & Airline Surcharges[/size][size=2][url=https://fly.virginaustralia.com/SSW2010/VAVA/webqtrip.html?execution=e1s1#][color=#be0634][size=2]View[/size][/color][/url][/size][right][color=#be0634][size=2][b][size=2][size=2][size=2]$[/size] [size=2]82.84[/size][/size][/size][/b][/size][/color][/right][/size][/li][li][size=2][size=2]Fees[/size][/size][/li][li][size=2][size=2]Travel Extras[/size][/size][/li][li][size=2][size=2]Seats[/size][/size][/li][/size][/ul][/font]
[size=2][color=#ffffff][size=1][font=DroidSans, Arial, sans-serif][b]TOTAL: $378[/b][/font][/size][/color][color=#ffffff][size=4][font=DroidSans, Arial, sans-serif][b][/b][/font][/size][/color][/size]
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Not as poorly researched as you might think..

Take day off work on Thursday Question ..that option is not available for everyone.

Moreover...airfares move around significantly depending on the load and the days out from departure time

Mike.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Sometimes with airlines, it can often go the other way, particularly in the LOTFAP (Land Of The Free And Paranoid, located between Canada and Mexico), whereby airlines will start offering cheaper tickets in the leadup to a flight in order to sell seats that would otherwise be empty - a seat cannot be sold after the departure of the flight.

Of course this assumes that there are people like me, who will often take a weekend away on a whim, but only if the airfares are cheap enough.

Dave
thadocta
Many years back I had to read a book for uni by former SAS Airline CEO, Jan Calzon, I believe its "moments of truth". He lead SAS through an amazing turnaround in the 1980's.

One of his strategies was, never sell a seat below cost, because who are you selling it to? The annual holiday maker who's business is not adding to your bottom line and unlikely to yield repeat patronage, such last minute bookings are usually driven by people doing as you say, grabbing a short trip on a moments notice because its cheap and will not be loyal to any one brand, although V/line has no direct modal competition.

V/line seats are already below cost, so discounting further is probably not going to improve revenue to the govt. I don't know, maybe it will because a planes costs are very different with fuel at 20% and weight a big factor in fuel burn. A pax train doesn't even carry 1/3 its own weight in people.

Maybe's Jan's theory doesn't apply here. I suppose you need to look at the cost benefit analysis of doing so.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Many years back I had to read a book for uni by former SAS Airline CEO, Jan Calzon, I believe its "moments of truth". He lead SAS through an amazing turnaround in the 1980's.

   One of his strategies was, never sell a seat below cost, because who are you selling it to? The annual holiday maker who's business is not adding to your bottom line and unlikely to yield repeat patronage, such last minute bookings are usually driven by people doing as you say, grabbing a short trip on a moments notice because its cheap and will not be loyal to any one brand, although V/line has no direct modal competition.

   V/line seats are already below cost, so discounting further is probably not going to improve revenue to the govt. I don't know, maybe it will because a planes costs are very different with fuel at 20% and weight a big factor in fuel burn. A pax train doesn't even carry 1/3 its own weight in people.

   Maybe's Jan's theory doesn't apply here. I suppose you need to look at the cost benefit analysis of doing so.
RTT_Rules


When they say "below cost", they mean below marginal cost - that is "if this extra passenger travels, how much extra will it cost us".

If you have spare seats, then marginal cost is nothing like the average cost for both planes and trains (but more so for trains).

(If you have no spare seats, then your marginal cost becomes very high, because you have to run an extra service to provide that single extra seat.)

If you have already committed to providing the service, you have spare seats, and there is no chance of you selling the seats to someone that will pay more, then it is worth selling the seat to the cheap-skate holiday maker even if its revenue is just above the marginal cost.

When you say "V/line seats are already below cost" you are referring to average cost.  I would still expect the marginal cost of a passenger to be less than their fares even for V/line.

A business is not sustainable if, on average, it is selling seats for fares that are less than the average cost of each seat, where the average cost includes operating cash costs and some allowance for capital costs.

A typical approach to yield management is to estimate well ahead of running the service what sort of rmarket there might be for the service, and then dividing up the capacity of the service into fare types based on that estimate.  People who don't care for flexibility or other frills that might be offered with the more expensive fares will naturally purchase the cheaper types of fare if they are available.  It is because the number of seats available in those cheaper fare buckets is limited that fares then tend to rise as the time of operating the service approaches.  Some people, even a relatively long time in advance, want the flexibility or other value adds associated with the premium fares (often because they are not paying for the ticket), so they still buy the expensive fare.

If the operator thinks that a service will be full even if all seats are sold near their premium fare level, then they make very few discount fares available for that service, even if you are still a long time out from the service operating.  As you get closer to the time that the service is planned to operate, if the sales are not running as expected, then you might transfer additional seats from the premium fares to discount fares (or vice versa) to try and stimulate demand (or take advantage of unforeseen demand).
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Five hour drive leaving whenever one pleases or a seven and half hour torture trip by train.

Hard choice.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
Five hour drive leaving whenever one pleases or a seven and half hour torture trip by train.

Hard choice.
ZH836301
Yeah, really hard choice. Finishing work, having a couple (or more) brews, and then sitting back and relaxing the night away, as opposed to putting up with morons on the road.

Hard choice.

Dave
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
I think this thread is about public transport options (aeroplane, train and bus), NOT private transport options (car).
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
I think this thread is about public transport options (aeroplane, train and bus), NOT private transport options (car).
Bogong
Yep.

Absolutely.

Dave
  Calgully Deputy Commissioner

Location:
Five hour drive leaving whenever one pleases or a seven and half hour torture trip by train.

Hard choice.
ZH836301

No way in hell would you drive it in 5 hours.  Google says 5:42 for 542km and that's stupidly optimistic averaging 95km/h.  If you did it flat out you'd be knackered - if you made it safely at all.  And it assumes no traffic which is completely unrealistic at Easter.
  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
Depends on whether you stop or not. From Ballan, it can be done. Not forgetting that you also benefit from a 110km/h speed limit from where the Calder Highway intersects with the Sunraysia Highway at Nunga. I live 25 minutes from Ballan, and can drive to Mildura within four and a half hours if I don't stop anywhere, and no, fatigue isn't a problem either. It costs me around $45 in petrol to get there on average.

Seems like an easy solution to me. Stop whinging about there being no train, and planes being too expensive. Save yourself the money, and drive. Complaining here about it won't make any difference to your apparent dilemma either.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
ZH is of the opinion that any long distance PT travel is arduous at best.

I posted the thread as a comparison between government and privately provided PT as in air transport.

Yes I've driven to Mildura from Ballan, and before that years ago from Laverton with train travel many times over the years, however as I got older and fatigue decided I need to take a power nap along the way. So I decided for my own sanity and the safety of others that V/Line after much consideration was the easiest and most convenient alternative. The V/Line fare is cheaper than fuelling my already cheap to run MINI Cooper S.

Whilst travelling I read, usually Saturdays Age, surf the Web after I've looked at the lovely and homely scenery between Sunbury and Bendigo and generally contemplate life. (I was born in Castlemaine and still have friends and family there)

After Swan Hill I usually put on my noise cancelling headphones and with the music on my smart-phone and with an afternoon nap, the time soon passes to Mildura.

It's really a very relaxing way to travel and from August even cheaper as I turn 60... Wink


Mike.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
No way in hell would you drive it in 5 hours.  Google says 5:42 for 542km and that's stupidly optimistic averaging 95km/h.  If you did it flat out you'd be knackered - if you made it safely at all.  And it assumes no traffic which is completely unrealistic at Easter.
Calgully

Aha, because Google said so?

The highway to Mildura is 110km/h Diggers Rest to Calder Alternate, and Wycheproof to Red Cliffs - it can also easily be cruised at 120km/h+ given minimal traffic (one of the quietist highways in the state) and enforcement.  

For anybody who drives long distances with any semi-regularity, five hours is not far at all.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
The highway to Mildura is 110km/h Diggers Rest to Calder Alternate, and Wycheproof to Red Cliffs - it can also easily be cruised at 120km/h+ given minimal traffic (one of the quietist highways in the state) and enforcement.  

For anybody who drives long distances with any semi-regularity, five hours is not far at all.
ZH836301

I certainly would NOT be advocating breaking the law by speeding. and that's exactly what you are suggesting...

Perhaps it was for the best that instead of low flying on the Calder you took to the skies instead when you last visited the north west.

Of interest if one was to decide today to fly to Mildura for Easter...the return fare....$878.00 Exclamation

Mike.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
I certainly would NOT be advocating breaking the law by speeding. and that's exactly what you are suggesting...

Perhaps it was for the best that instead of low flying on the Calder you took to the skies instead when you last visited the north west.

Of interest if one was to decide today to fly to Mildura for Easter...the return fare....$878.00 Exclamation

Mike.
The Vinelander
Even if you didn't speed, I'd imagine that driving would still be faster when you factor in the travel time from your house in Melbourne to Southern Cross, and from Mildura Station to your accommodation.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Meanwhile      http://milduraairport.com.au/252/
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
I certainly would NOT be advocating breaking the law by speeding. and that's exactly what you are suggesting...

Perhaps it was for the best that instead of low flying on the Calder you took to the skies instead when you last visited the north west.

Of interest if one was to decide today to fly to Mildura for Easter...the return fare....$878.00 Exclamation

Mike.
The Vinelander
That's why one would drive at that time, derp.

Next week flights revert to the usual ~$130 each way.

Does your rant have any point?  Demand is higher during peak periods... you don't say.

Have you still yet to grasp that airlines are profitable private businesses whilst Vline is a heavily subsidised joke?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
That's why one would drive at that time, derp.

Next week flights revert to the usual ~$130 each way.
ZH836301
Plus taxi to/from Mildura airport - $20.00 x 2

Plus taxi/skybus to/from Melbourne airport - $50.00 x 2 = around $200.00 each way
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Well we all best stay home at Easter, problem solved.
Jebus Mikey, your a broken record on this Mildura thingy, it aint gonna happen, unless some government has a lazy  several hundred million  dollars laying around .And there would be a few hundred priorities lined up before passenger rail to Mildura.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Well we all best stay home at Easter, problem solved.
Jebus Mikey, your a broken record on this Mildura thingy, it aint gonna happen, unless some government has a lazy  several hundred million  dollars laying around .And there would be a few hundred priorities lined up before passenger rail to Mildura.
wobert

I use V/Line regularly to travel to/from Mildura. I support the V/Line service. ZH supports the airlines.

I won't have ZH attempting to pull the wool over mine and everyone elses eyes in a feeble attempt to convince us the airlines are so cheap to travel with (on their terms) that when traffic is at its lightest it only costs a mere $130.00 each way to travel.

What ZH neglects to advise is the significant transport costs to/from both airports which alone are more than the V/Line fare.

Mike.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
I use V/Line regularly to travel to/from Mildura. I support the V/Line service. ZH supports the airlines.

I won't have ZH attempting to pull the wool over mine and everyone elses eyes in a feeble attempt to convince us the airlines are so cheap to travel with (on their terms) that when traffic is at its lightest it only costs a mere $130.00 each way to travel.

What ZH neglects to advise is the significant transport costs to/from both airports which alone are more than the V/Line fare.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Just out of curiosity, if V/Line was to turn a profit, do you think it would still be cheaper that travelling by air (all costs considered)?

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