Thursday, July 10, 2008

End of misleading airfare ads?

Hallefreakinlujah! It’s about time! What took them so long?


Finally, some big poobahs in charge woke up and decided it would be a good idea to tell Ryanair and other offenders just where they can shove their 1 euro promotional airfares.


Full article in The Guardian here.


Now all the budget airlines are required to include all fees and taxes in their advertised fares. Which makes me very, very happy. So now Ryanair quickly raised their promotional prices to the equivalent of 5 or 10 euro (at least in Sweden).


Ryanair1_copy




But it appears Ryanair bosses only got the first page of the memo, because their fares still don’t include taxes and other charges.


It seems that SkyEurope got the whole memo. They advertise prices for 1 euro/pound all inclusive. Which looks mighty fine until you actually try to book one of those special fares. Yeah, right. Good luck!


Skyeurope




And then you read the fine print, which says:


One-way, ALL INCLUSIVE. Subject to availability. Web reservations only. 14-days advance purchase applies. Subject to payment of credit/debit card fees and baggage fee.


Some morons (I was going to use a much stronger word, but since this is a family blog and all that, morons will have to do for now) will just never learn. I hate budget airlines.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

They can't be serious!

Every so often I’m asked to review things, which if I feel like it, I do. Occasionally, an odd company here and there will flat out ask for a favorable review in exchange for monetary compensation. And that immediately makes me wonder just how lame you have to be to even suggest that. I never respond to such offers.


But then this morning, I got a very nice email from Katie, who also wanted me to review something. Katie went a step further – she asked for an unbiased review AND offered payment. Sweet! I get to trash something AND get paid?


Unfortunately for me and Katie, I do not accept money for reviews. If I recommend something, it’s because it’s good and useful and I like it. And if I don’t like something, I’ll tell y’all for free.


Katie wanted me to review a cheap airfare searching/booking site. I’m not going to give you a link, because trust me, it’s not worth it. It’s THAT bad.


The site claims to have 4 unique golden guarantees, with the first one being “Lowest Airfare & Hotel Rate”. Oh what a crock of BS! I plugged in a set of dates into their search boxes, Stockholm to JFK August 20-27, and the cheapest result I got was:


  • British Airways - $946.60 round trip - that was the lowest option.

I plugged in the same dates into kayak.com and got $922 for the same flights, directly from BA.


But guess what? Kayak also provided options that the other schmucks didn’t, options that were even cheaper: $744 on KLM/Northwest.


There went that first golden guarantee. I really didn’t feel like bothering with the other three.


But wait! It gets worse. The airfares they list do not include all fees and taxes, you have to click something to get that info. You people can’t be serious? That is like so mid 90s. Do you honestly think that I am going to buy something, anything, from you if you can’t be upfront about the costs involved?


I’ll spare you the rest – pathetic hotel search results (again found cheaper elsewhere), bad design, lack of currency conversion function, and the most curious of all – the cheapest fares are NOT listed on the very top, you have to scroll quite a long way down to see them.


Either that site is a joke, or a scam, because I seriously cannot imagine why anyone with two brain cells to rub together would use it.


Nr_station_2

Yes, that unfortunate company is located in NYC (at least that's what it says on their website), about 12 blocks up from there. Ah, New York...