Opinion: Fare madness and low-cost airlines

Photo: © Dylan Agbagni

Today it is easy to fly by plane from one point of the world to the other, but in times of price wars there have been fares created whose meaning must be questioned.

In the old days of air travel (15 to 20 years ago) there were actually three fare and cabin classes available, Economy, Business and First, each with their own advantages and clearly defined inclusive services.

If you want to book a flight nowadays, you will be overwhelmed by thousands of offers through which one can no longer see through. Price differences vary from a few tens to a few thousand dollars. With fancy names like Eco, Eco+, Eco+X, Flex, etc.

The included services range from simple seating and (dry) transportation to meals, entertainment, luggage and flexibility. Airlines call them fare classes and claim the passenger can customize his ticket individually. I call that nonsense.

If you are not careful when booking, horrendous extra costs at the airport await you, making the airlines earning a good portion of extra money. This year alone in the billions again.

Personally, I prefer a simple ticket bringing me from A to B that includes food as well as my luggage. But fares offered economy class is exhaustingly overwhelming with its variety, especially as there are numerous differences from airline to airline and no uniform standards.

Low cost airlines are to be considered separately. Airline tickets at bus fares with a service and a flood of additional costs that can hardly be beaten to insolence. Regardless of who in the end has to pay the price of your cheap ticket. This starts with the employees, whose employment is not only poor below average, but is also underpaid. On the examples of Ryanair and Easyjet one sees the best what happens in the industry. Much worse is the question of where to save even more to be able to offer the tickets so cheap: on safety – your safety!

Of course, there are international standards whoms compliance is controlled, but important maintenance is delayed and airline personnel are told to fly as cheaply as possible (saving fuel, carrying minimums, etc). So happened in recent past, but also current as a report by insiders from Canada shows.

Unmotivated staff will always work poorly, you can tell by the service and how the staff handle the passenger. You get what you pay for is to take literally in nowadays air travel.

It is time to reflect on the basics instead of always put up more and more extra fees and charges. If you add this together, you reach basically the ticket prices of yesteryear when everything was easy and simple.

Editor’s note: All opinions voiced in this article belong to the author and do not represent IFN.