Category Archives: flights

Dalrymple books a flight

Attempting to purchase an airline ticket online, Dalrymple finds that with each click of the mouse, the cost rises, until it reaches 25 times the advertised fare. He is

angered in a way that I should not have been if the final cost had been asked of me in the first place. I suppose that by now, having bought many such tickets, I should be used to the sharp practice, but I am not. It irritates me.

Dalrymple is aware that he will be charged a card fee even if he uses his debit card. But the airline finds a wheeze to misrepresent its fare. It charges £6 for a seat.

Could I have avoided this charge if I had volunteered to stand rather than sit? I could not: I had to have a seat. In what sense, then, could the original fare properly have been advertised at £X rather than at £X+£6?  In none that I could fathom. I have known British government ministers more honest and straightforward than this.

The website gives Dalrymple what it calls the ‘total cost’ and asks him to press the ‘continue’ button if he agrees to it. He does so, only to discover that the next page has added a further £6 — for reasons that he is unable to determine.

He comments:

Sharp practice, if not outright dishonesty, is bound to grow in a society in which personal trust and honour are replaced by law and the legal adjudication of obligations. Everyone then does what he can get away with, for a reliance on the law as the sole determinant of the permissible destroys all sense of shame. Small wonder that ‘Cheat, that ye be not cheated’ seems increasingly to be the rule by which we live.