Thought for the day…” Common sense ain’t common”
” If you do not fight for what you want, then do not cry for what you lost”
I have had many good flights with Lufthansa. Sometimes they have problems, but they are usually very good at trying to sort alternatives out. Same thing with Swiss Airlines (now also part of the Lufthansa group). So I had been loyal to them for a long time, and generally very happy with the service and fares. But it appears that they have now gone the same way as airlines in the USA and also the European budget airlines. Sad to see that they are now charging for seat reservations (up to 25 euros each flight for long haul for a basic seat). Not only that, but Swiss airlines are now offering a bag-only fare (to Geneva), ie. if you want to travel with a check-in bag then you must pay more. And Austrian Airlines are offering Economy passengers the chance to enjoy a better meal on payment of an extra 15 euros. And KLM (part of Air France), who I refuse to fly with on the grounds of previous bad flights and bad customer service, add in extra charges for paying by credit cards, and also an extra fee of 25 euros if you book by telephone, as well as an extra 15 euros if you check in a bag. And if you want an economy ‘Comfort’ seat, (are the other seats called discomfort seats on KLM?) with UP TO 10 cm more space, then KLM give you the chance to pay between 5 and 160 euros EXTRA for the UP TO 10cm extra. And the final straw…..Wizzair airline is also charging for carry-on baggage.
So the quality airlines are copying the budget airlines, and the lines between them become less clear. But the trend does not stop with airlines. Swebuss, the Swedish long-distance bus company is offering passengers who pay extra the chance to board the bus first. Viking Line, the Finnish ferry company that operates around the Baltic is giving passengers even more chances to pay extra…..extra charge to reserve a window seat in the restaurant, extra charge for late check in with a car, extra charge for priority disembarkation with a car etc.
People used to mock Ryanair because although the basic fare was cheap, everything else was extra. That was the standing joke. Now it seems, that bus companies, ferry companies and even quality airlines are all going the same way. You pays your money and you takes your choice, as they say….
Today’s photo comes from Interlaken, near the centre of Switzerland. A paraglider frames the 4158m Jungfrau mountain in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. If you are feeling energetic, then you can enter for the annual Jungfrau Marathon, which is run uphill. One nice touch is that they have Swiss chocolate at the refreshment points during the race. No doubt that the runners will need a lot of chocolate to run the 42 km uphill.
and another photo from the archives…capturing the moment in Korea…
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