Am I the last person in Australia to find out the hard way that Jetstar charges each passenger $30 for the privilege of making payment for a round trip – double that for two pax paying together? For this short-hop journey, that’s almost a 20% loading on the base fare. (And no, for many passengers there is simply no other way to pay, depending on their bank). Their only serious competitor, Virgin, does it for $9 each or $18 for two – less than a third. It’s a kind of Basil Fawlty business plan; why would any customer come back for more punishment? Possibly because the only remaining alternative is even worse.
I say ‘serious competitor’: Australia’s third budget carrier, Tiger Airways is now slowly rebuilding its network after several weeks’ grounding by the safety regulator. In any case, I swore my first experience of Tiger would be my last; here’s a pic of the passenger amenities at their makeshift terminal out in the freight yards of Melbourne Airport. That’s a subject for a post in its own right.