Over the Easter weekend, there were three stories that made me wonder whether April Fools’ Day lasts longer then a single day. All were concerned with airlines and only one cheered me up.
All of you have probably heard of the strange case of easyJet at Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport where two passengers arrived with a man in a wheelchair. The problem was that he was dead and it looks as though the women, his wife, and daughter, were trying to take him back to Germany. The taxi driver appears not to have noticed the fact that the man was dead but airport workers did. Now I could have believed that was an April Fool but human nature seems odder than you can make up.
The second case involves an announcement by a small, no-frills airline in America called Spirit Airlines. They have announced that they are going to charge for carry-on luggage. If you can fit the luggage under your seat you won’t have to pay. If it goes in the overhead locker then it can cost $30 (say £20) if you check-in online and $45 (say £30) if you pay at the gate. This airline only serves the USA and routes into the Caribbean and Columbia but it could cause an impact over here. You can bet you last quid (before the no-frills airlines take it from me) that if Spirit succeeds in making this stick that Ryanair, easyJet and the others will try and introduce it here as well. And we joke about what else they can charge for!
Finally some potentially good news. Air Asia, the no-frills, a long-haul airline has announced that is altering some of its economy class seats so that they will become what they call, “flat-bed, premium seats. The bad news? On some prices I checked the single fair from Stansted to Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur rose from £348 to £869 for one of these new seats. (this doesn’t include a UK tax of £65) What this really means is that a no-frills airline has introduced a business class ticket. The daft thing is that this no-frills airline was beaten on price by Malaysian Airlines on an economy fare (I could save over £40) but is a lot cheaper on a premium economy or business class ticket. But most of us travel economy so which would you go for?
It looks to me that April Fools has every chance of becoming a year-long event!