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Caveat Emptor – buyer beware – most of us know the meaning of this. But Lufthansa’s recent boning of paid-up tickets really takes the cake.
We’ve paid for an around the world ticket of 2 x 23kg thus: MEL->LAX->FRA->TLS / stop / TLS->FRA->HKK->MEL.
I logged into Qantas Frequent Flyer the other day and noticed our Toulouse-Melbourne sector was 1x20kg. WTF, right?
Contacting the agent, the most-excellent David at Cycling Adventures, he investigated and found out Lufthansa had changed its policy – including on paid tickets (remembering a ticket is effectively a contract of carriage) – and not notified anyone.
Glad I checked.
Despite some very persistent follow up by David, we’ve not managed to rectify this, and he assures us no sort of threat toward Lufthansa will bear fruit; not even threat of action with Visa/Mastercard. Seeing as these were non-refundable tickets, we’re screwed.
So, caveat emptor is all well and good, but you can’t account for rapacious corporationus.
This isn’t how business is supposed to be.
I’ve been noticing lately that airlines are lowering airfares, but baggage limits have been seriously tightening since I went snowboarding in Canada with a 2 x 32kg limit in 2002 (I came back from LA in 2004 with about 78kg!).
Charging low fares then gouging customers on baggage and fuel surcharge seems to be standard operating procedure these days for airlines. Did you know airlines don’t pay agents commission on fuel surcharges? So, an airline can set a super low fare, pay an agent a hefty (that’s a joke) 3-5% commission then lob a fuel surcharge (and other taxes) on top, thereby not having to pay commission, and no doubt keeping most of the fuel surcharge themselves. Let’s not forget fuel surcharges were levied with oil over USD100/barrel. It hasn’t been near that since the GFC.
What a rort!
Where’s Branson on this?
Surely airlines (someone?!) could work out a fair system (or someone should innovate and do it, and force the others to follow suit – all I see is dinosaur businesses) of charging excess baggage per kilo, and let customers pre-purchase baggage (Virgin Blue already does this: $10 for $23kg domestically I think it is) at a reasonable rate. People would be all over it, and it would everyone money and time, and make the airlines money transparently. I don’t begrudge people making money, but I absolutely begrudge you a big fat rort.
Even better was if a baggage aggregator bought loads of baggage capacity from airlines, then on sold it to agents, who could pick and choose the cheapest aggregator.
I’d happily pay $50 or $100 to get my bike overseas, and save all my time investigating myriad and shambolic baggage rules.
In any case, for Australian readers, I’ve worked out the cheapest deals for you are:
- Emirates 1x30kg (into Paris or Nice)
- Qantas with Qantas Club membership (around $400 a year) 1 x 23kg + 10kg for QC
- Malaysian Airlines 1x20kg, but booking will say 25kg
- Air France/KLM 1x23kg worldwide (including to/from USA)
If anyone else has reasonable baggage limit info, add it in the comments below.
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