In nearly every line of business throughout the world there is a high standard of regulation to prevent mis-representation and false advertising. Why is it, I wonder, that the airline Industry (With one particular Irish culprit being worse than most) is seemingly unaffected by this ?
As most Ex-pats living in Spain do, I make several trips back to the UK every year, and like everybody else I always get suckered into searching like an idiot for the cheapest flights. Which in short, means that I nearly always begin my search with the Irish lot.
I like to think that I am Intelligent(ish) guy, and keep telling myself that you only ever get what you pay for – so why is it that every time I fly with them I tell myself that is the last ?
When I booked my 10.99 Flight last Month I had to pay a Credit Card fee of 4.00, an on-line check in Fee of 15.00, and an airport Tax of 29.99.(And that's just one way !) On-top of that they tried to make me pay an extra 15.00 for a piece of Luggage ( That I didn't want to Take ) and 15.00 For Travel Insurance (That I hoped I wouldn't need). The first 4 Charges were compulsory – so why not just tell me that the total cost of the flight would be 59.98 in the first place instead of messing me about ?
To make matters worse the cardboard mug of insipid, brown, gritty, lukewarm water on the plane cost me the best part of 3.00, and as of May next year they will be charging 1.00 for the use of the Toilets (Probably in the hope that the reduced demand in them will allow them to remove one of the toilet cubicles to cram in another row of seats). I would imagine that this would result in the most of Steerage class foregoing the usual 4 cans of Stella Artois in order that they can keep cross-legged just to save a quid, and as a result the fall in the demand for the beverage trolley would mean that financially the airline would be no better off for doing this.
Earlier this week those cheeky Irish chappies have announced that they will be charging anybody who has the temerity to try and re-claim their lost luggage or personal possessions 10.00 for the privilege of doing this ! - How is this legal ? - In the UK, and most other European Countries, if you found a handbag in the street and contacted the owner to tell them that you would return it for a fixed sum this would be deemed as blackmail and as such would be a criminal act – How is this any different ?
It makes me wonder how far they will be allowed to take things ? - Maybe when a Plane looses cabin pressure, instead of the masks falling from the ceiling, the “ Waitresses of the Sky “ will walk up and down the Isle selling them ? - Or maybe life vests will be charged out at 5.00 a time as passengers jump out of the sinking fuselage ?
Tempting as it is to fall headlong into the trap of opting for the cheapest flight, nearly everybody that has flown with them will tell you that it is a false economy and you always up paying the full, true cost in the long run – why not just accept this at the outset and fly in comfort with a "non-economy" airline for a few quid more ? - At least that's what I tell myself I will do next time.