If an airline can charge you for a seat on a plane that does not exist, why can they also charge you if you don’t appear at the gate?

Why...

Are some airlines hellbent on pi##ing off their passengers, whilst some notable exceptions bend over backwards to be helpful? Let’s face it. Airports in certain cities are in chaos. I recently heard of a passenger checking into First Class on an international carrier asking for his bags to go to Rio as he went to New York. An exasperated check in staff called over the manager who explained this was simply impossible. Baggage had to accompany the passenger. “Well, you managed it last time I flew to New York”, came the response, to a ripple of applause from other passengers.

...and another thing

The only thing taking off faster than a package holiday flight from Luton Airport to Magaluf are the air fares themselves. Unless someone has dropped pure THC in my coffee and I am hallucinating, airlines certainly in Europe are charging more than The Light Brigade. As an example, a return from Malta to London used to range from £125 economy both ways in low season up to maybe £300. It’s £850 today!

I understand our airline friends have had a rough time. My son is a commercial pilot. But do some really think after two years of lockdown followed by the knock on effect of Putin’s folly and massive rise in the cost of living that they can gouge out airfares that cost several multiples of the holidays themselves? Supply and demand curves do exist. The backlash from clients will be overwhelming.

On top of that the service at airports is worse than a booth at the Department of complaints against the Government in North Korea.

Not only do I not believe in God, but try finding a spare baggage handler at Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester airport this summer. Some airlines have suggested either not taking a bag in the hold or perhaps coming to the airport a day in advance to check in luggage.

The former might work if you were spending your fortnight at a nudist colony, and the later is a bit tricky if you either live nowhere near the departure airport or if you were taking a domestic flight to get to it. It’s seems management shares one thing with its pilots. Their heads are in the clouds.

...and another thing

The rigidity in not being able to change tickets is on the verge of the Kafkaesque. More than once, an airline’s proposed charge to me to change the flight on one of their own planes to another of their own planes a day or so later, actually exceed the price of simply buying a new ticket. We all know airlines overbook so the idea they have lost out on a flight to Tenerife in midsummer and they need to charge you for a lost fare, is fantasy of J.K. Rowling proportions.

...and another thing

It looks like all my moaning and whinging will disappear like spit in the rain, when a major airline check in and cabin staff decide that midsummer is the time to strike due to stress, lack of decent pay and appalling working conditions.

If ever there was a job with delusions of self importance it’s cabin staff. They are either Mary Poppins treating and speaking to paying passengers as if we were some street urchin, or are over the top and insist on trying a stand up comedy routine whilst making announcements. And no, I don’t care what the temperature is outside or the route we are taking. It’s not as if I am going to play outside or knock on the cockpit door and suggest another route! I don’t need to know so why insist on telling me. I might as well know the announcers shoes size and what they had for breakfast.

...and another thing

So as I sit and melt here in a heatwave that Satan himself might judge a little intense, I will fantasise about flying away in November when airlines will be begging for customers and prices return to some semblance of normality… even if the Air Stewardess/hostess/customer care agent or whatever they like to be called insist, along with the Air steward, on giving a duet of

“🎶 Oh it’s a jolly holiday with Mary

🎶Mary makes the sun shine bright…”

Hope your holiday break is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Take care. And those airlines that buck the trend and look after me, thanks.

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