Air fare promotions

By | Category: Travel rumblings

If there are discounts for two travelling together are single travellers being penalised?

Being a cynic – as readers will know by now – I am more likely to look at thigs a little more closely. The little asterisk at the end of a sentence, fare or offer is more of a draw to my eyes and mind than it would be to many.

Always on the look-out for a bargain, a trend is beginning to emerge in the way that air-fares are being presented to us. The CAA – the body that monitors airlines – has been consistent in saying that pricing should be transparent. So has the transport select committee and many consumer organisations.

Yet some airlines have adopted the habit of listing the price of a ticket as being only that price when two people travel together. Next to the price is that little tell-tale asterisk along with the words, “Fares per person, based on two people travelling on the same booking.”

Back in 2012, Just about Travel spotted an airline offering a price based on four people travelling together. The airline was easyJet. Guess which airline is using a price based on two travelling together? Yes, easyJet

Why can’t the airlines say what the fare is per person?  The suggestion must be that the fare would be higher for a single person travelling than if two travel. But how to find out what a fare for one person as opposed to two is likely to be is difficult to find out because the published fare is often a discount which applies to only a certain number of seats. You would have to be pretty lucky to find a ticket at that price and a ticket for two people travelling on the same flight, same day, same month so that you could compare.

The airlines have a get-out when you can’t find a fare at the rate quoted because of the dreaded asterisk but should they?

This is one where a CAA investigation on pricing transparency should happen.

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