Budget Airlines Are A Bad Idea
When people have to pay for something, of course they are going to avoid doing it! And those who succeed, they make everyone else’s life hell!
So, I’m going to just put my neck out and say it: Budget flights are a bad idea. It’s not the whole “now everyone can fly” spirit that I’m decrying. It’s the whole “because it’s budget, every little extra has to be paid for” business model that I’m fast losing patience with.
What’s Wrong: Paying To Check In Your Luggage
When you fly non-budget airlines, the check-in allowance is factored into your ticket price. It doesn’t matter whether you check in 5kg or 30kg, you’d be a fool to not check in that bulky suitcase.
On a budget airline, check-in luggage is an extra. Of course, if people have to pay for something, they’re most likely going to find a way not to! All that “You’re only allowed 1 hand-carry bag and 1 handbag/laptop bag” rules is bullshit. Clap if you have seen some people board their flight lugging a cabin bag, a backpack, a handbag, their duty-free shopping, and their laptop. Sometimes, the cabin crew will enforce the baggage rule, mostly, it’s hard to do it.
And what happens when people try to not pay for check-in baggage? The rule-breakers affect those who follow the rules! When someone steals some space, it means someone else cannot happily stow their cabin bag in the space directly above their seats!
What’s Wrong: Paying To Be Able To Choose Seats
When you book 2 air-tickets, it goes without saying you want those 2 seats to be next to each other! But on a budget flight, that’s not necessarily the case and it’s stupid! First, the possibility of being separated from our travel companions feels like we’re being punished for flying budget. Second, people are obviously going to push their luck and mess things up!
I bet this is a super common sight. A group of tourists board a flight and then exclaim in horror when they discover they are not seated together. They decide to take matters in their own hands and conduct their own version of musical chairs, happily assuming that they’re not affecting other passengers, not affecting the boarding flow.
Obviously they are wrong. And it’s even more exasperating when they are oblivious to the havoc they’ve caused.
I’ve even seen a frustrated cabin crew member “gently reproach” a group of passengers, “PLEASE. CAN YOU ALL JUST GO TO THE SEAT THAT’S ON YOUR TICKET? YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CHANGE SEATS. THANK YOU.”
Those of us who know why people can’t just change their seats, we roll our eyes and think to ourselves, “Oh god. Should have just paid that $12 to choose your seats, right?” But honestly, this mess could have been avoided if tickets bought together are seated together! WITHOUT EXPECTING PASSENGERS TO PAY EXTRA FOR THIS ACT OF SHEER COMMON SENSE!
What’s Wrong: Paying To Be Able To Sit In Front/In An Emergency Row
Maybe to the more “seasoned” travellers among us, we know on a budget airline, such seats come at a “premium”. But if the flight has taken off and nobody is offering to pay more for those seats, it just seems pointless for them to be left empty?
Yeah sure, I get the whole “slippery slope” argument: You let one person sit there for free and suddenly the whole system goes to shit. But honestly, unless you are asking to move from coach to business, usually changing seats within the same class isn’t a big problem! Yes, there are seats with more legroom that you need to pay more for, parents with babies get seats with the bassinets, etc. etc. But generally, if a seat is empty and no one else is interested in claiming it, on non-budget airlines, if you ask nicely, the stewardess will let you move there.
What’s Wrong: Paying For Food
Again, meals are included in your ticket when you fly non-budget .When you leave it to people to decide whether or not they want to pay for food, you’re only asking for people to try to sneak their own food in or, for people to argue why they have to pay for your shitty food.
A good example would be: why pay for instant noodles when I can get a pack of yummy mango sticky rice from the Bangkok airport to go? Sometimes, it’s not so much that we are skint and trying get out of paying for “the right to consume food onboard”. Sometimes, it’s because we actually want to eat decent, nutritious food!
Of course, some behaviour like, attempting to go to the loo when the seatbelt sign is on, like insisting on wearing your headphones during taxi, take-off, and landing, like trying to squeeze your huge-ass bag under the seat in front of you … are not excusable. These just show that you are incapable of being an adult.
But if like me, you find flying budget stressful, it’s probably because of these insane rules about having to pay for this, pay for that! They just bring out the silly and ugly in people! I miss the days when it’s all in the ticket, do whatever you want … as long as you remain behind the curtain that separates the Economy from Business and First.
6 down, 57 to go
[In case you just joined me, this is part of a 63-day writing challenge. From now to Christmas Eve, my goal is to write something every day.]