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More to flights than price

It had to happen. The shine had to get knocked off the reputation of cut-price airlines sooner or later. No one can offer perfect service at cheap prices without the occasional failure.

But we should not gloat with schadenfreude. It is easy to point the finger, but it would be better to take this as a wake-up call. It is not merely what economists would call a supply problem; it is one of demand as well. That means we share the blame. We have been offered fair service for very little outlay and we should have realised before now it was too good to be true.

Something, or someone, has to give which usually means staff numbers are pared back and fewer employees are expected to put in more hours but cannot satisfy customer demands. When that affects us – with flight cancellations and non-existent after-sales care – we should ask ourselves exactly what we were expecting. If price is our principal or only criterion for choosing one thing over another we must accept we will not always get what we want.

We live in a cheapskate world which sells us the illusion that bargains are always good for us. Too many of us buy into this wholeheartedly. If more consumers learn to demand a reasonable balance between price and value, everyone will be served better in the long run.

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