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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Degrading Discounts

Ah, tiered fares - the first world's caste system! If you think they were born out of stiff competition in the airline industry (where airlines pass on savings to customers who forego frills), you're dead wrong. Dead wrong. It's actually a group of sadistic marketing sonofabitches making up the restrictions, hoping to humiliate passengers. Don't believe me? Here's a couple of recent examples:

1. My recently purchased 'Economy Supersaver' ticket on BMI restricts me from being able to select a seat, even at check in. I don’t even know what the fuck this means. Do I just show up and look for an empty seat like I’m at the movies? Are there going to be assholes who put their bags on empty seats like in the subway? How does this save BMI money? Oh right, it doesn't - it's just another random inconvenience for me, the cheap-ass passenger.

2. Similarly, a friend flew Southwest on their “Wanna Get Away” fare. Apparently, “Wanna Get Away” means “I’m poor and would like to be treated that way”, because what ensued was staged boarding at the gate, with the stages not being defined by the usual “old people and babies followed by row number” fashion, but instead, by “fare class”. So essentially, there was no assigned seating, and they let the passengers on in order relative to how much they paid. When my friend finally got on, he and his wife were about 20 rows apart. Humiliated? You bet!

If any of you sadist marketers are reading this (and given our absolutely massive readership, that’s more a certainty than a probability), I’d like to suggest other things me and my fellow cheap ass passengers are willing to do to save our hard-earned and tightly-held travel dollars.

Instead of a seat, I’ll sit on a stool in the galley in the back. Or I'll just stand. If you want, in between movies, I’ll make your full-fare-paying customers feel great by walking up and down the aisles yelling “Hey people! I’m sitting on an uncomfortable stool in the back of the plane because I paid less than you! You're getting value for your money, dammit!”. Alternatively, I could sit in a corner near the washroom with a dunce cap that says "discount fare". Or, I could forego use of the bathroom. If it’s an overseas flight, I’ll wear a fucking catheter if I have to. If necessary, your stewardesses can tell the other customers why I’m wearing a catheter. I’ll also offer to show them the catheter while discussing my thrift and smaller annual income.

Anything you want guys! Lets work together to make air travel accessible, and embarrassing, for all.

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

LOL… This post was so good it made me cry. A similar thing happened to me when I went to dinner at the CN armed with Air miles points as my currency: Although it may be obvious; it was not as powerful as cash. In fact, it is much less powerful. We got the crappy table with the crappy food, but we made the most out of it by joking about the ‘Air miles table’. Dude, you got ‘air miles tabled’. Ah, I digress. I have flown on many discount airlines; RyanAir, EasyJet… things of that nature. The advantage to these airlines (rather than a discount ticket on a regular airline where they like to make you feel bad about it) is that everyone is a cheap ass and these extras like food and seats just don’t exist. You have to run the fastest to the plane and beat up old people for the good seats. I recommend bringing a partner, so one of you can hold the carry ons while the other snakes through the crowd to secure the coveted seats. It’s like a bus with wings; except there is a good chance your pilot will be drunk. $600 for a sober pilot is too much for me; especially when it only costs $79 for a drunken one. I’ll take my chances indeed.