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I am trying to price flights for a South Pacific trip. Easter Island can be reached from either Santiago, Chile, or Tahiti. Flights from island to island within the South Pacific (eg Fiji to Samoa or New Caledonia to Vanuatu) tend to run about 300 per person. Some are a little less, some a little more. But PPT-IPC is $1300 per person, no matter where I look. Expedia, Travelocity, Cheapo Air, Matrix by ITA, LAN's own site, you name it. And when I look a little closer, this prices is, it turns out, almost always for a business class ticket. For example from ITA:

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Is this an all-business flight? Why can't I find economy prices on this route?

Update: This seems to be related to its being one way. Return tickets are hard to find because there is only 1 flight a week in each direction. But for example on LAN if I choose return PPT-IPC March 10th, IPC-PPT March 16th, I can get $750 per person in O class. If I could throw away the return I would save over $500 per person, but what I would prefer is to buy the O class one way - especially since I don't intend to move to Easter Island, so I will be leaving it, and I will be leaving it on a LAN flight, so annoying them with dropped segments is a bad idea.

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What happens if you try to price a return, coming back on a quiet day about a month later? –  Gagravarr May 6 at 16:09
    
Does the problem happen in both directions? With both singles and returns? (Not that you'd want all of these tickets, just to try to narrow in on what's special here) –  Gagravarr May 6 at 16:30
    
Yes, with the added complication that if you don't choose the right dates, you get 50 hour flights through LAX etc. Nothing makes that leg less than $1300 per person, and many things make it much much more. –  Kate Gregory May 6 at 16:45
    
@KateGregory got this for $1175 USD: google.com/flights/… –  MeNoTalk May 6 at 16:50
    
@Gagravarr some limited success with returns. I've updated the question –  Kate Gregory May 6 at 17:08

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The reason why you're seeing exorbitant rates on one-way tickets is because most one-way ticket buyers are businessmen who are price-insensitive. The reasonable approach (employed by many businessmen as well) is to buy a return ticket and throwaway the other leg. This is called throwaway ticketing.

A return flight in September on the PPT-IPC route comes out at a reasonable $683:

Tahiti - Easter Island flight

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