Tiger tangles with simple english over $1 one way returns
Tiger's latest attack on plain talking when it comes to fares takes it closer to the Ryanair model, except that it is yet to match trickery with the lunatic antics of that carrier's CEO Michael O'Leary.
If Tiger achieves anything with its latest stunt, the $1 one way return fare oxymoron, it should be to make the ACCC intervene for the sake of clarity to consumers.
Its media statement implies that departing CEO Andrew David has abandoned his initial insistence that Tiger would offer simple, straightforward price offers.
The logic appears to be that people, really simple people, will go “Wow, a $1 return fare”, when it in fact it is an offer of a $1 one way fare if you fly on a certain day of the week and have a holiday without needing to travel with more than limited carry-on luggage.
To be really attractive, Tiger needs to offer a really cheap fare the other way, all the time, otherwise the buyer of the $1 one way but return fare without any checked luggage and only if paying with a Mastercard debit card could end up looking like an out of pocket idiot, and we don’t want that, do we?
As it stands the low fare but high fee gotchas that characterise many of the ‘best’ offers from Tiger and its direct competitor Jetstar frustrate the avowed selling point of low fare travel, which is to have a widely useful and relevant low fare both ways, whether travelling with checked luggage, or going on a holiday with whatever can be crammed into your pockets!
Tiger’s attack on simple English may have its origins in the depth and extent of the fare fight going on between Qantas and Virgin Australia, both of whom offer a much higher standard of service and frequency on many routes than do Tiger or its Jetstar counterpart, and sometimes for the same final fare or close to after additional fees for checked bags or other ancillaries are included.
At the moment this contest between quality and cheap is, if not crushing the life out of low fares with high extras, putting the cheap propositions under acute pressure.
But there is no excuse for a $1 one way return fare.
Ben Sandilands has reported and analysed the mechanical mobility of humanity since late 1960 - the end of the age of great scheduled ocean liners and coastal steamers and the start of the jet age. He’s worked in newspapers, radio and TV in a wide range of roles as a journalist at home and abroad for 56 years, the last 18 freelance.