FARES FAIR?

Business Traveller - - INBOX YOUR LETTERS -

I find it hard to un­der­stand how air­line mar­ket­ing peo­ple think th­ese days; here are just a few re­cent ex­am­ples I’ve per­son­ally en­coun­tered.

[In May] Ethiopian Air­lines an­nounced flights from Manch­ester, start­ing in De­cem­ber. Un­for­tu­nately, hav­ing whet­ted my ap­petite, when I search its web pages and ask my travel agent, it is im­pos­si­ble to book such flights.

I re­cently searched for a busi­ness class flight to Li­longwe [in Malawi] with Air France, and as a re­sult, got four or five ad­verts from it on my Face­book page over the en­su­ing pe­riod, all say­ing the same thing and quot­ing me the same econ­omy fare, but with no other in­for­ma­tion. It was clearly too dif­fi­cult to show the fare in busi­ness class, or even try and per­suade me its busi­ness class was some­thing worth ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.

I searched Kayak for a busi­ness class fare to Bangkok, and up comes a spon­sored Cathay Pa­cific fare – fine, but it was about £1,500 more than the fares with the likes of Emi­rates or Qatar, and £2,000 more than Fin­nair. Good as Cathay Pa­cific is, does it re­ally think I would pay such a premium?

I could go on, but one might have thought that air­line ex­ecs would try and make their ads more ef­fec­tive by bet­ter tar­get­ing,

Alis­tair Ni­coll, Sh­effield

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