Profiteering and scams

By | Category: Travel news

Willie Walsh yesterday accused the operators of PCR testing as “profiteering” due to the high prices they charge.

Willie Walsh – who now runs IATA – accuses PCR testers of profiteering

The ex-boss of BA, Aer Lingus and their holding company IAG is now the boss of IATA, the organisation that represents airlines around the world.

Speaking at the World Aviation Festival yesterday morning, Walsh was at his most forthright in condemning governments as well for the scam that they have inflicted on the public with high costs and then, in the case of the UK, adding VAT on top. He wants the VAT element removed as has happened in some other countries.

He also pointed out oddities in the current UK system of monitoring including the case of a three day visitor. He said that the person would have to arrange a test on the second day of the visit and another on the eighth despite the fact that the person would have left on the third day!

Always good for a sound bite, Walsh echoed the comments of Johan Lundgren, the boss of easyJet who had criticised the high cost of PCR testing last week.  Lundgren went on to say the same thing today at the Festival taking the same stance has been ABTA, Just about Travel and almost everybody else with an interest in travel from the UK.

At the same time, Travel Gossip which began as a Facebook group for travel agents to make their views known has published the results of a survey amongst its members which pointed out that most agents believe customers won’t pay more than £50 for a test. Their view was that about £30 was the “acceptable” amount. The tour operator, TUI, had said earlier that its customers can’t afford the cost of the tests as they are presently priced.

Since government ministers have also come out saying the cost is expensive and must come down, I think it fair to say that it will reduce. The £60 charge announced by Randox will have to be reduced further if the travelling industry and the public is to travel this summer in meaningful numbers.

And if it does come down, Walsh will probably be right – there has been profiteering somewhere in the system.

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