Ticket prices then and now


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Mia Lewis

Guest
Hello Everyone!
I have been searching through the threads related to tickets and prices, but I'm still confused. If this question has been answered and I am just blind and couldnt see it, please forgive me. My question is this: 1. How much did the average first class ticket cost? 2. How does that price convert into todays american dollar? For instance lets just say that a first class ticket in 1912 cost oh..I dont know...$2000.00. What would be the equivelant cost for todays American dollar? I dont understand the concept of pounds ( I live in America and have never traveled to Europe) So "pounds" mean nothing to me. I guess I'm trying to figure out if I would be able to afford a first class ticket back then, if I made the same amount of money I make now in 2004. I hope I'm making sense and I really appreciate anyone who can answer my question. Sorry for this being so long and drawn out, but I just want to make my question clear. Any help is appreciated!
Thank you!!

Layla
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Here's a past post on the subject by Bob Godfrey, Layla:

Posted on Thursday, 19 February, 2004 - 7:28 pm:

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At the time there were no fixed charges and the variations in tickets prices within 1st Class were especially large, but very roughly in today's money an adult travelled 3rd Class for about £450, 2nd Class for about £800 and the cheapest 1st Class tickets were about . if you need those prices in modern dollars, you can do online conversions at the current rate here:

http://www.xe.net/ucc/
So by Bob's work, the cheapest 1st class rate of £1700 converts to $3,045.56 USD as I write.

As a side note, I've noticed that there are questions about ticketing (price, numbering etc) all over the place, including quite a few in the Passenger Research section. Monica has brought a lot of these together, and I'll be moving some as well. Bob's post quoted above could be found at https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/discus/messages/5811/84955.html but may move soon.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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As I have often said before, a very rough (but very quick and easy!) way of converting 1912 pounds to 21st Century US dollars is to add two noughts to the figure. Thus a 3rd Class ticket costing £8 in 1912 was very roughly equivalent to $800 US today.
 
M

Mia Lewis

Guest
Thank you so much for clearing that up! I was starting to get frustrated. You guys rock!
Layla
 
M

Mia Lewis

Guest
Also, That seems awfully expensive for a third class ticket!
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hello Inger and Bob,

This is becoming confusing.

"At the time there were no fixed charges and the variations in tickets prices within 1st Class were especially large, but very roughly in today's money an adult travelled 3rd Class for about £450, 2nd Class for about £800 and the cheapest 1st Class tickets were about £1700. if you need those prices in modern dollars, you can do online conversions at the current rate here:" http://www.xe.net/ucc/

Using the above 1st Class figure and converting today's £ into modern dollars seems to result in a quite different conversion to converting 1912 US$ to modern dollars. - In 1912 the minimum 1st Class Fare was $130 [that is £26].

If you use this Conversion Table www.westegg.com/inflation/ [which was posted by Cathy Akers-Jordan] $130 US in 1912 = $2449.72 in 2003 [which is the highest date on the Conversion Table]. - That is somewhat different to $3,045.56. Is that because the US and £ rates relative to each other were different in 1912 to what they are now?

If you go down to: What was the exchange rate then? In the year 1912, it took 0.21 British Pound to buy one U.S. Dollar.

Under: Historical Exchange Rates, based on US Dollars the rate in 2003 was .6213 in 2004 it is .5613. - In each case for the 1st trade day of the year.

Bob using your: "a very rough (but very quick and easy!) way of converting 1912 pounds to 21st Century US dollars is to add two noughts to the figure" confirms a minimum 1st Class fare of $2,600.

If I am understanding you correctly £8 now = £450 [?]. I calculate that as a conversion rate of times 56.25.
My understanding is that the 2nd Class fare was £13 and the 1st Class minimum fare £26. So respectively that converts to £730 and £1,460 [?].

Using http://www.xe.net/ucc/ £1,460 converts to $2616, which is just like: "adding two noughts to the £26" and not too different to 1912 US$ to 2003 US$.

Have I understood this? It seems after much confusion to make sense!
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Thanks for that input, Lester! As always, you and Bob manage to bring light to bear on knotty little matters like this
happy.gif
Cheers for also setting out the reasoning behind your conclusion.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Thank you Inger.

You mean my conclusion makes sense? - Does that mean I can ask you to explain it to me?

Regards,
Lester
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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For anybody wanting to convert 1912 prices into modern equivalents, the conversion factors at the time of writing are approximately 60 for UK pounds and 20 for US dollars - this takes account of the fact that the exchange rate of roughly 5 US dollars to the pound in 1912 was very different from the current rate, the purchasing power of the pound having fallen much further than that of the dollar. Approximations like my 'add 2 noughts' conversion can be more useful because they are a simple means by which (for instance) Americans can very easily assess the price of a ticket or a beer or whatever in terms of something they can readily understand - the purchasing power of the dollars in their pocket in 2004.

In reality, even the most precise of these conversions based purely on price inflation is a very crude means of assessing what a ticket for the Titanic might have cost if the ship had been still operational, and with the same level of personal service, today. There are several reasons for this, but the main consideration is that wage levels have increased at a rate far greater than that of average prices of goods and services - ie living standards have improved. A highly labour-intensive service, like that provided for First-Class passengers on Titanic, would therefore be far more costly today than is suggested by a simple conversion based only on the changing purchasing power of pounds or dollars in terms of things like grocery bills. So, no matter how precisely you make those calculations, you might need to multiply the result by 2 or 3 to get closer to the likely cost today of a 1st Class ticket on a 2004 Titanic on which the crew expected 2004 wages and tips.

Taking into account these more complex considerations, here's another suggestion for any Americans out there who have been wondering "Could I afford to travel 1st Class on Titanic?" To get an idea of the true impact of the 1912 prices related to earnings, try halving the figure in pounds and then adding three noughts. Thus for an average worker the time and effort required in 1912 to earn about 30 UK pounds for one of the cheaper 1st Class tickets would be the equivalent (again, very roughly!) of the time and effort you would expend today in earning 15,000 US dollars.
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Noelle K. Lantka

Guest
Does anyone know the equivalent cost of a first class cabin today considering inflation rates?

Thanks,
Noelle
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Noelle, in the 'Life on Board' section of the forum there is a folder 'What it cost then and now'. That's the place to go for enquiries of this kind, but as you'll see when you get there there's no simple answer!
 
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Noelle K. Lantka

Guest
Thanks, Jason, for moving my post. After all that confusion, I almost wish I didn't ask!

I was wondering because we cruise every year and on average, one ticket costs around $1,500.

Noelle
 

Bob Godfrey

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Noelle, the equivalent of your $1500 in 1912 would have been more than enough for a ticket on the Titanic. Provided you'd be happy going 3rd Class. Best way to travel - much more fun!
 
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Noelle K. Lantka

Guest
Bob, knowing what I know now about the outcome in 1912, I think I'd stick with my 160 sq. ft. cabin today!

Noelle
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Well, yes, the outcome is a bit of a downer, can't deny that. But within your budget you could certainly have been in a cabin that size in 1912. And just think of the great parties you would have had with your 15 room-mates!
:)
 
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Noelle K. Lantka

Guest
Aren't I glad they did away with the class system!

Noelle
 
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Richard Dobrenel

Guest
Hi
As I read many posts here, I've learned that the cabins had an advertised rates (a price the passengers should normally pay to occupy the cabin). But as nearly nobody paid this advertised rate, what was that for??

[Moderator's Note: This message, originally posted as a separate thread under a different topic, has been moved to this pre-existing thread addessing the same subject. MAB]
 

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