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So I recently came across an article in the Sydney Morning Herald about the ‘premium economy’ ripoff.
If anyone has read the wonderful ‘Why I Hate Flying’ book, you’ll know airlines are masterful at giving the illusion of value, especially where business class is concerned … however, in these economically tough times, they’ve turned their hand at ripping off less wealthy customers thanks to the magic of ‘premium economy’.
Sure you get a better seat, better food, more room, a bigger television screen … but with some airlines now charging up to double the price of a traditional economy seat for these little improvement, you’ll realise the airlines have focused on the word ‘premium’, rather than ‘economy’.
As any woman will gladly tell you, a few more inches can make a big difference, but when you look at the economies of those minor improvements, you realise the increase in price you’re expected to stump up is way more than it is worth and – in some cases – proportionately more expensive than a business class ripoff.
Of course, if people are willing to pay it, then more fool them.
Sure, I understand the attraction.
Apart from having knees that are simply brushing the seat in front rather than being wedged tightly against it, you can pretend you’re superior to the plebs in “cattle class”, even though they’re not plebs and – it could be argued – they’re smarter than you because they’ve not fallen for the airlines attempt to pull off a David Copperfield illusion trick.
But believe it or not, that is not what this post is about.
You see accompanying the aforementioned article were photographs comparing 3 airlines offering Premium Economy.
Cathay Pacific. Virgin. Qantas
Here are the pics …
The pic above is Cathay Pacific’s offering.
She looks comfy doesn’t she?
Of course she does, she’s only 3ft 10″ so she could sit in a child seat and still feel it’s relatively roomy.
Mind you, even at the sort of height that makes Bazza look tall, her knees are nearly touching the seat in-front so you hope that she’s not paying for the ticket because it might be a bit of a rip-off.
Talking of rip off …
If I was her I’d be pissed off.
Because there seems to be only 2 people on the whole plane and those bastards have set her next to the only other passenger.
Mind you, they both seem quite attractive so maybe they’ll end up talking, start dating and then – in less than a year – produce 2 perfect children and call them Cathy and Pacific.
Right, next up, Virgin.
Lee? Steve? Dickie? What are you doing?
I know the economy is tough, but flying a plane that seems empty is pure bloody madness.
But what about the seats?
They seem alright, but you don’t get a sense there’s much room do you?
Couldn’t they have used a better photo? Even the Cathay Pacific pic is better.
Surely it has nothing to do with the fact that all these appeared in an Australian paper and that Virgin is seen as a much bigger competitor to Australian air travel than Cathay Pacific.
No, I must be living in a conspiracy World bubble, after all, this is the photo they used to show Qantas – the spirit of Australia’s – premium economy seat …
Another nearly empty plane, what the hell is going on?
But forget that, look at the space … the comfort … the serenity.
Of course, given the photo has been taken from the front, features another midget woman and the seat appears to be in a bulkhead position, it’s no fucking surprise there appears to be more room there than the average house in Blackpool.
Surely not – Australian media isn’t that petty, myopic and small minded are they?
Regardless, what this highlights is that too many airlines sell the dream but never manage to live up to the promise.
You might fool a customer once, but you won’t get to do it again. Unless you’re Ryan Air, who are more devious than the Chinese Government.
So to the Sydney Morning Herald, congratulations on being so blatantly biased, it’ll probably win you the ‘Australian of the Year’ award, even if everyone else will regard you as nothing more than a press release output for Aussie industry.
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