The Unintended Consequences of Cheap Airlines


This is just a very minor thing I noticed but ...

I needed to book a flight from Singapore to Hong Kong. I checked and the prices were pretty crazy.

$69 for Tiger (which is rated 1 out of 5 stars) $105 for JetStar (rated like 1.5 out of 5 stars) $520 for Singapore Airlines

That's it! There's no sliding scale. The 3rd option is 6x the first option!!!

I asked some friends what they would pick. Some said pick Singapore Air because sucky travel experience ruins everything. Others said the flight is only 4hrs so don't worry about a bad experience as it will be over quick.

I ended up going with Singapore Air mostly because they had a flight time that fit my schedule. I needed to get into Hong Kong with plenty of time to get to the city before it gets dark since I'm going to an AirBnB and not a hotel and it will be harder to find. Too early and I'm stuck with my luggage for several hours. I am cry about the cost but what−cha−gonna do.

Anyway, that's all beside the point.

The point is, as I was flying from Tokyo to Singapore (different flight) on Singapore Airlines the headphones they gave me were broken. I checked a couple of things and was able to mostly conclude the problem was the headphones, not the entertainment system.

But, ... While I was doing that it got me thinking. Because there's a lower price option I start to feel entitled to better service. If I fly from SG to HK for $520 and something is broken or service is bad I'm likely going to be extremely upset that I paid 6x the price of the cheap airlines and didn't get flawless service.

Before super cheap airlines when the diff was say 10% it wouldn't have been a big deal but now ....?

No idea if that will have any real pressure or not on non super budget airlines.

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