So who defines an adult as being 12 years or older? Who believes that if you start your paid return journey after the original origin (thus freeing up space for others) that you shouldn’t be allowed to even start your journey (after you’ve paid in full)? Who believes that the main cost of production should be explicitly separated and bundled into government imposed taxes and charges? Yes, you guessed it, the passenger airline industry.
Recently, a friend who was invited to the Philippines to attend a friend’s wedding decided that the impending Typhoon (that has tragically killed up to 10000 people this weekend there) meant that he and his partner should not risk their lives by flying to the Philippines. They were booked on Emirates from Vienna-Dubai-Manila and instead chose to remain in Dubai. When they tried to check in for their flight back to Vienna, they were told that since they hadn’t boarded the flight in Manila, they couldn’t in fact board the final segment Dubai to Vienna – even though they had paid for their seats on the plane. Treated euphemistically by Emirates as a “no-show”, they were asked to pay 600 euros to buy a one-way flight back home. Airlines are the first to use “force majeure” to make excuses when they fail to fly on time or cancel their schedules. But a passenger cannot invoke the same logic in the context of Act of God such as a Typhoon.
There is little or no justification for this policy. The airline has booked the revenue.
They do it because in the words of President Obama: “Yes We Can”.
The origins come in the old days of paper ticket coupons. Oftentimes an airline would charge more for a direct flight than an indirect one so passengers would pay for the indirect flight at a lower price and remove the vouchers when they checked in for their direct flight. Of course, the problem lies in airline seat pricing, not the passenger.
And then I hear airline executives complaining about RyanAir and I realise that many of them have had it too good for too long.