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Cheap flights... is the booking method deceitful?

Travel Forums General Talk Cheap flights... is the booking method deceitful?

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1. Posted by mikebr (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y

I booked a flight to Belfast from Malaga by Aer Lingus today, the flights where shown as 15 Euros outward (Yes looked unbelievable) and 85 Euros inward, so that is 100 Euros x 2 (Me and my wife) return flight to the UK = 200 Euros :)... WRONG!!!! it actually cost me 354.90 Euros, 154.90 Euros more that I was expecting to pay from the prices shown on their web site at the outset.

Flights: 100 x 2 people: 200
Taxes,fees,charges: 86.90
Handling fee: 20
1 x suitcase each: 48

Total: 354.90

Now after paying they gave me a link to select our seats at 3 Euros each (I thought 'arm in again') but found that it was 5 Euros for a normal seat and 20 Euros per person per flight for an aisle seat... so I gave that a miss, they will be charging us for the bus ride to the plane at this rate!

It seems that all these companies are at this, advertise as cheap as possible then just stack charge after charge on top of the price, this now means you should ignore totally the advertised price as the price that you will end up paying will be nowhere near the price shown at the outset. I guess if a shop in the street did this they could be taken for misrepresentation. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind if the cost was the same but I was told it from the outset, not that it continually incremented as the flyer has to select options that are not considered as extras but as the basics of the flight!

I hope that www.berr.gov.uk get on top of this. I actually complained to them as * I hope everyone else does who feels this is the wrong way to rope in or deceive people *, the prices should be shown as 107.45 Euros while not 15 Euros and 247.45 while not 85 Euros, after all that is what it costs for crying out loud, not the 15 and 85 Euros they start with and it doesn't matter if the differences are for tax, handling charges, the baggage handlers or the guy who washes the windscreen of the plane * it is what it costs you *. The only thing in this the 'very limited' few may not have to pay would be 24 Euros and that is if you do not have a suitcase which must be a massive 3% of travellers! that could be a selection as a discount if the true price of the flight was advertised eh?

So, for travellers sanity in the future I prompt everyone who is annoyed with this deceitful practice to contact berr.gov.uk to complain about this practice before they do start adding the bus ride and the cost of the check-in to the list, it's not just Aer Lingus but Easyjet and others who do the same so they appear competitive.

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 5, 2008, at 11:36 AM by mikebr ]

2. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 7y

I actually hate this practice myself, and don't use sites that do it. I use expedia most of the time, and they just give you the price outright.

I believe that it IS criminal....But I bet that they made sure they found a hole before they started using this technique. It's the old bait and switch.

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1992 posts) 7y

I disagree - this is only Travel Marketing! You were lured in by rock bottom prices and thought you had found them! Someone has to pay airline salaries and airline fuel charges - knowledge will come with experience. What about all those folks on TV promising that a pill will make you lose 10 lbs a week - it's all just a big game to lure in more consumers.

4. Posted by mikebr (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y

Quoting Daawgon

I disagree - this is only Travel Marketing! You were lured in by rock bottom prices and thought you had found them!

Travel marketing! so it's ok to sell anything showing the price as the seller wants the consumer to think it is? and it's just something we should and will learn to live with and expect because we will learn that this happens through experiance...... sorry, I say your wrong and it's called being deceitful on the planet I live on.

Quoting Daawgon

Someone has to pay airline salaries and airline fuel charges

Of course they do , it's not the fact that we pay them it's the fact that they are * not extras but part of the cost of the flight * so should be show that way from the outset, not as: the car costs $4000, then go to the next step and onto.... seat belts are $800 more, wheels $500 more... it's all part of the basic price of the car and should be and as part of the initial price, it's not something you have the option to have or not have, so should be shown as part of the price at the outset.

What a junk world we would be living in if this practice was the norm, just make life even more unhealthy for people as if there isn't enough stress and deceitfulness in it as it is! If what you are suggesting was the norm then all trust would be lost by the consumer as they wouldn't have trust or faith in anything they where buying or going to buy. Long term, companies will be shooting themselves in the foot with this type of behavior, as will the consumer if we do not do something to try and prevent it.

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 6, 2008, at 11:31 AM by mikebr ]

5. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 7y

I thought it was now illegal in Europe for airlines to advertise flights like this?

I read something a while ago which said that airlines had to advertise the 'all in' price and couldn't advertise the basic flight costs without taxes. If they do then there is a fine for the airline for misrepresentation.

I would definitely complain about this!

6. Posted by mikebr (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y

Quoting loubylou

I thought it was now illegal in Europe for airlines to advertise flights like this?

I read something a while ago which said that airlines had to advertise the 'all in' price and couldn't advertise the basic flight costs without taxes. If they do then there is a fine for the airline for misrepresentation.

I would definitely complain about this!

Actually I see Easyjet now shows the price with the tax included in their price at the outset, Aer Lingus and Ryanair for example still do not, Aer Lingus also adds a handling charge as an extra cost when you have no option but to pay it... while Ryanair say 'Excluding handling fee (if applicable)' (depends on your credit card) and that in some cases VAT is not included but will be shown in the final price relative to the country you are flying to (Spanish or Italian domestic flight)... why not at the start, if it is a Spanish or Italian domestic flight then that would be known when showing the prices at the outset.

Baggage * is * an extra with all of these carriers when in general 99% of travellers have a bag, so this is just used as a method of making the flight look cheaper at the outset rather than actually just allowing the very small percentage of travellers who do not have a bag deselect for a discounted flight later in the process, such as where they would now add these options on.

I hope you do! :)

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 7, 2008, at 3:59 AM by mikebr ]

7. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 7y

Try Cebu Pacific for international flights. As low as $75. Then add on $90 Tax, $40 fuel, $10 handling and the list goes on. It ended up 3 times the cost of the flight. I just wander into an agent and ask. I prefer giving them $5 commission for the cheapest flight, get an airport map, bus direction to it etc than spend 2 hours online filling out forms and crap to only get the real price at the end.

Aer Lingus is fighting to stay up, as Ryan Air is making Bids for them. Ryan Air started off just fine. But then lost the plot as they wanted to have people carry their own bags, and there was something about them trying to charge for a wheel chair at some stage too. Can't stand them.

Germanwings gave a price up front, as did easy jet. If I see that, and they advertise that. Then to me that's better marketing than the fake prices up front.

I agree with the comments about if this was retail highstreet store, you simply could not get away with advertising a book for sale at $5 then charge a customer at the counter for the fuel costs it took to bring to the store, then a processing fee to buy it, not to mention tax and store anti terror charge and anything else. Bring on Amazon and kindle in that case.

Also the comment about someone's got to pay the charges is way off the touch of reality. I have no problem paying for extra fuel charges, even if the cost of oil has plummeted again, and it takes the industry 1 year to catch up, unlike when the price of oil goes up. But it's just plain wrong to add it as an extra? Think about it. Go to restaurant, eat meal. Pay for it. oh what's this, I have to pay for dish washing too? Well somebody has to pay for the chap's wage, goodness knows we cooked the food you ate, and paid for. So just pay the guy's wage too. Oh, and while you're at it electricity for the restaurant too. It's not included as it's obviously not food. But someone's gotta pay it. . .

Ad's on TV are just that AD's. I am not making a purchase through the company at that time. At least in the UK that watch do prevents national TV from giving false claims. I think Apple got a spanking recently. Personally I want all prices up front, otherwise they just lost a sale.

Unless people start standing up to this crap we all might as well bend over. As History dictates, that's not a good idea.

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 7, 2008, at 8:22 PM by outcast ]

8. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 7y

In Vancouver, all the gas stations have taken to offer a discount on gas....all the time to anyone. If the price on the sign says 1.10 a litre, it's actually 1.065 which is hilarious. The marketing ploy is that it makes people think that they are getting a screaming deal. Because they got a discount.

I would guess that the airline nonsense would cause just as much hard feelings as feelings of elation. But it must be working, people still do it that way.

I love that no matter what topic you come up with, there will always be a dissenting voice.

"Hitler was an evil madman."- "Hitler was a much maligned genius."

"Global Warming is bad, and we need to take steps to deal with it." - "Global Warming is just a cycle and we have nothing to do with it."

"Paradise is terrific." - "Paradise is dull and boring and we should all aspire to hardship and toil.",

"I hurt my foot." - "No you didn't, it's just your imagination."

9. Posted by Clarisinda (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y

Some bits of this I agree with, some I don't. I did think, in the UK at least, that airlines had to advertise the price inclusive of taxes these days?

I object to Ryanair adding on a "handling fee" per leg when you pay - so for return flights for two people, that's four times a four or five quid charge. There is just one type of card which doesn't attract this fee, but it's one that only people with no credit rating bother to apply for - who is going to apply for a new card, just to save this money? And even then they say they charge to use this card in the future too, in which case, as there is no other way to pay for flights, it is no longer an optional charge. VERY annoying.

However, for baggage, I don't see why people shouldn't be charged per item of hold luggage - they are just not used to it. It is no longer true that 99% of people fly with hold luggage - for short hop flights with certain low cost carriers, it's closer to 50%. People take far too much stuff on holiday - it's quite possible to travel for ten days with just carry on luggage :-) And if you want more luxury than that, why not pay for it? I'd even agree with charging overweight passengers by the kilo if it meant I could fly cheaper ;-)

10. Posted by lakers6902 (Budding Member 70 posts) 7y

Quoting mikebr

the car costs $4000, then go to the next step and onto.... seat belts are $800 more, wheels $500 more... it's all part of the basic price of the car and should be and as part of the initial price, it's not something you have the option to have or not have, so should be shown as part of the price at the outset.

thats why you go to the junk yard, and get all those parts at a quater of the price :)