Friday, 26 December 2014

Oh please shut up, you stupid, stupid people!

If you opt to save money and fly with a low-cost carrier than you are making a travel deal with the devil. 

If you choose to pay $29 to fly from Hobart to Melbourne with Tiger, or $200 to jet from Melbourne to Bali with Air Asia, then you pay your money and take your chances. 

These are budget flights with all the risks that suggests; you will not get a meal unless you are willing to pay for it, your flight may be cancelled or delayed with no come back, and you'll pay for every kilo your luggage is over the allotted weight limit. 

Budget airlines like EasyJet, Ryanair, even Jetstar, offer cheap flights, but you don't choose to fly with them if you absolutely, definitely have to be somewhere on a specific date or time. Unlike the major carriers, if they have an issue they are often unable, or unwilling, to call up a replacement plane at a minute's notice. 

If you've decided to go the cheap route and subsequently miss out on 12 hours of your holiday so be it. And if you book a flight on December 27 for a wedding in Bali on December 28 then you are either a moron, or a gambler willing to roll the dice and risk missing the big day. 

That's particularly the case over Christmas, New Year and Easter when flights are jam-packed and delays - for many different reasons - are common. 

When is why I have little sympathy for holidaymakers who "had travel plans thrown into disarray" after budget airline AirAsia X cancelled direct flights from Melbourne to Bali with only days' notice and routed its passengers through Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, adding seven hours to their journey time. 
  
The Malaysian airline was forced to cancel the flights after it failed to gain approval for the new route, which was due to start on December 26, from Australian and Indonesian aviation authorities. That may be the airline's fault, or maybe the Australian bureaucrats are all away on holiday and no one is answering the phone.    
Passengers received text messages on Christmas Day notifying them that flights from Boxing Day onwards had been cancelled and they would instead be flown to Bali via Kuala Lumpur, The Age reported.
Angry flyers rounded on the airline on social media, complaining they had paid for accommodation and transfers that they would not be able to use (err that's what travel insurance is for). 
One woman blamed the flight change for "wrecking our family Christmas and my daughters wedding (sic)." 
Apparently these geniuses had not thought to allow even a day in case of flight delays, expecting to leap straight off their flight and head for the ceremony. 

That's like having a ticket to the AFL Grand Final and landing in Melbourne two hours before kick-off. It's fraught with danger. 
Even if you travel regularly with full-fare carriers you are used to flights being delayed - often by up to several hours. It is not like catching the 113 bus where if you miss one another will be along 10 minutes later.  
Do your research and allow time for things to go wrong if you opt to fly on the lowest possible fare. If you don't you are a bloody idiot. 

1 comment:

  1. "That's like having a ticket to the AFL Grand Final and landing in Melbourne two hours before kick-off. It's fraught with danger."

    I could imagine the heartbreak would be monumental if that happened to you

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