Why flight prices are like restaurant meals
Ever perused a restaurant menu, and thought: “That looks good value.” And then at the end of the meal scratched your head and wondered how the bill came to so much?
Flights to ski resorts can be a bit like that.
When I talk with skiers about the comparative costs of going by plane and by train to a ski resort, they sometimes say: "But it only costs £30 to fly to Geneva".
The thing is, it never does. Here’s a typical, real-life example from Easyjet’s website.
Gatwick to Geneva. Booking in advance, you find an 8am flight (check-in 6.30am – ouch) for £30.99 and a return for £31.99. That’s a total of £62.98.
Add on the debit card booking fee, it is now £71.98
The charge to take a suitcase is £18, and to take your skis or board adds £50.
What started out at £30 one way has become £139 return. And that's without transfers. Hmm.
Now I'm not claiming that train fares are better or worse value compared to flights. That's a different discussion.
It's just that if you want to compare like-for-like, you have to know the total price of the flight and journey.
Otherwise, like in the restaurant, you end up scratching your head and wondering what happened.