DO WE GET VALUE FOR MONEY?

Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - INBOX -

How do fel­low posters cal­cu­late value for money when it comes to air travel? For ex­am­ple, if you pay for a J class ticket on any car­rier are you get­ting value for the money that you have paid? Is there any­one who thinks that you get value for money if you pay for a ticket in F class? Do some peo­ple feel that there is value for money for busi­ness class in Europe? Do LCC’s of­fer bet­ter value for money than the full ser­vice car­ri­ers, tak­ing ev­ery­thing into ac­count? For five to eight hours’ fly­ing (day­time es­pe­cially) premium econ­omy is a sweet spot for me. Costs about 50 per cent more than econ­omy and is a lot bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence. I believe that is where the LCCs will at­tack on long haul. For short haul, com­mod­ity prod­uct, buy a di­rect flight whether it is legacy or LCC, look for value. How­ever, I post as the owner of a mi­cro busi­ness and my view may not be aligned with em­ploy­ees of a large cor­po­ra­tion. In May 1977 I went to visit my soon-to-be in-laws in Dur­ban (from Manch­ester). The cost of the re­turn econ­omy ticket was £416 (US$549). Air France has just sent me an email say­ing if I want to travel in Novem­ber it is £460 (US$607). Ac­cord­ing to the in­fla­tion ta­bles £100 (US$132) in 1977 is worth £585 (US$772) to­day. That would make the ticket cost around £2,400 (US$3,168)! I think we have lost sight of the value for money we get when fly­ing. As some­one who has just started their own busi­ness and has to travel all over APAC, I have to weigh up the value vs safety and re­li­a­bil­ity, etc. So gone are the days of J or PE travel. I hub from SIN so there is a premium from let’s say KUL but as I won’t fly MH any­more (frankly they are the most un­re­li­able air­line in the re­gion) I will pay a small premium to en­sure on-time de­par­tures. I gen­er­ally don’t fly LCCs for busi­ness but do so for leisure; the prob­lem is pure re­li­a­bil­ity as times get stretched enor­mously if they start to run late through­out the day. I am al­ways look­ing for a bar­gain when it comes to long haul, and gen­er­ally you will find a deal if you are pre­pared to shop around. It’s purely a judge­ment call. I only fly J or F on “long haul” – that in­cludes flights of three hours or more for me. J class is a no-brainer, cash or points be­ing the only real de­ci­sion to make! The per­sonal space, com­fort, badge al­lowances, ser­vice and points make it su­per value. Short haul? I will never fly LCC as there is (in my opin­ion) a cer­tain lack of dig­nity about be­ing herded through the “process” and treated like a mo­ron, plus a cer­tain clien­tele I do not wish to en­gage with. Snob­bish? Maybe, but I do not care.

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