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December 4, 2006

Discount Airfares: The Not So Fine Print*

Filed under: Travel — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:02 am

Chuck Cohen, a writer for the Christian Science Monitor, makes fun of the airlines’ often ridiculous restrictions on deeply discounted airfares in this humorous article, appearing on December 1, 2006:

Backstory: The Not-so-Fine Print on Those Discounted Airfares

A fictional $99 fare to Paris comes with some, ahem, unexpected restrictions.

Great $99 roundtrip airfares from Chicago to Paris! (Some restrictions apply.) 

* All seats are shared.

** Travel must begin on a Tuesday and end on a Wednesday, unless it is a nonleap year, in which case it must begin on the flight captain’s birthday and end on his wedding anniversary, unless the captain is not married, in which case travel must wait until a full moon or Pamela Anderson starts dating Bill Moyers … again.

*** Fare will be paid in drachmas obtained at the current rate of conversion or the rate determined by a panel of economists chosen by the airline who are familiar with the Greek monetary system, and who are resentful of Bill Moyers dating Pamela Anderson and have vowed to take it out on any passenger flying from Chicago to Paris for $99.

**** One free bathroom visit per flight.

Story continued at The Christian Science Monitor.

• • •

6 Comments

  1. Fairly lame, I’d rather see a legislative update on efforts to require truth in advertising in this industry.

    Comment by iolaire — December 4, 2006 @ 4:16 pm
  2. “” One free bathroom visit per flight.””
    What the hell?

    Reads article again….ohhhhhhh right…HEHE

    Comment by Alcari — December 6, 2006 @ 2:29 pm
  3. Seriously, I believe that a legislative report on this would be more interesting
    and probably a little funnier. This is becoming trite, though I hope we can hopefully find a funnier way of addressing this…

    Comment by island — December 6, 2006 @ 7:09 pm
  4. The sad part is that we’ve come to expect this type of “false” advertising like we see in the auto-sales industry, and so we tolerate it.

    the airlines have so many different ways to calculate rates that you always wonder if you got a good deal. There’s government rate, standard rate, advanced purchase rate, late purchase rate, weekend rate, full-fare rate, advertised rate, discount rate, super-discount rate, internet rate, etc (OK I made up the names, but the idea is there.) And these rates seem to change on a daily basis.

    Is it that hard to simply say “we charge you either first class or coach”? Can’t they make it like a bus? Here’s the fare…do you want to ride with us or not? (OK, senior and student discounts apply there, but whatever.)

    Then on top of that you get hit with all of the extra charges: airport fee, security fee, gas surcharge, 911 fee, national security fee, homeland security fee, pilot anti-drinking support program fee, food surcharge, silverware fee, aisle carpet-cleaning fee, etc. These are only topped by the fees added to our phone bills!

    Comment by RS — December 9, 2006 @ 1:28 pm
  5. Pretensious satire on a legitimate issue.

    Comment by Pierre — December 10, 2006 @ 3:42 pm
  6. Fares that cheap are available in this area. From Singapore to Thailannd only US$30 then comes the other stuff and finally you are out around US$150 and you have not reached there (Thailand) yet but it is still cheaper then what we used to pay previously. Budget flights are the in thing nowadays.

    Comment by Barry — April 8, 2007 @ 2:02 am

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