Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Flights of Fancy

I am sooooo sick of people knocking the Virgin Blue and JetStar airlines and swapping horror stories of how terrible their service was, how they did everything wrong, and how they will never fly with them again. Its the same in the UK, but the target of their frustration there is EasyJet. To all these people I say "Do what you're told and there's no problem." Let me throw my own personal experience into the pot. Every time I've flown between Tassie and the Mainland, it's been with Virgin Blue. Firstly, there was the price - Virgin flew two adults and 3 kids to Melbourne and back for around $400, and the nearest competitor was over $900, the plane didn't crash and we got a cup of tea and a biscuit. What more do you want on a flight? Do you expect when you catch a bus that you'll be waited on hand and foot?

These airlines operate on a shoestring budget, and the savings are passed on to the consumer. That means if they say be there by 9:00 am and you arrive at 9:10, they can't help you. Live with it, you're all grown up now and you were told when to be there. The airlines have rules and procedures to follow, and even if there is still half an hour till the plane actually takes off, if they keep letting people on, they will never take off. Fuel calculations have to be made, safety procedures explained, etc. Try doing that to an audience when people keep trickling in.

The big airlines can afford to give you another flight free when you were stupid enough to be late, because every passenger is paying for the late idiots in every ticket they buy. If you want a no-frills price, you have to accept the fact that that means everything in the process, from check-in times to baggage weight, has to be much more strict to meet that price. So lay off the cheap airlines and stop blaming them for the simple fact that you, a supposed adult, couldn't follow simple instructions. I've yet to hear a single one of these rants where the airline could really be said to be at fault, and I'll continue to fly Virgin Blue, and be quite satisfied with them, for the foreseeable future.