It’s nice to save 50% on airfares when not buying from the airlines…

My wife and I travel privately most weekends between Stockholm and Helsinki to be together since we work in Stockholm and in Helsinki respectively. I am a fan of Norwegian on this route because I get really good prices when I book on their website directly. They also offer us free WiFi when flying. This allows us to work instead of staring at the back of other passengers’ heads. With that competition and with all the worrying news about Finnair and SAS, you would have thought that those two would treat their valued customers well. That is just not true!
I normally book well ahead to secure the best ticket prices and check with internet travel agents as well as with the airline websites. I always compare the three ailine prices against www.flygresor.se, which is the best flight ticket aggregator on the web.
Today, November 16th 2012, I looked at ticket prices for evening flights on Friday January 11th and returning Sunday 13 January 2013 on SAS, Finnair and Norwegian between Helsinki and Stockholm either to stay in Helsinki or Stockholm. Here is the table expressed in Swedish Crowns:

HEL-STO-HEL Saving
Finnair 1446  Flygresor Finnair 702 51%
SAS 956  Flygresor SAS 767 20%
Norwegian 771  Flygresor Norwegian 724 6%
STO-HEL-STO Saving
Finnair 682  Flygresor Finnair 557 18%
SAS 1002  Flygresor SAS 817 18%
Norwegian 724  Flygresor Norwegian 624 14%

You can see that booking through a third party website for the same airlines is much cheaper that by going directly to the airlines own website. I am a big customer of all three and I cannot understand why the airlines work like this. Passengers do all the work on all the four websites when booking. Outsourcing is great for us passengers but why do SAS and Finnair want hike their prices for loyal clients who do not look at third party web sites?

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