In a radical move sure to upset Ryanair and other budget carriers, new airline, AirFair, will today (01-04-12) start offering flights for nothing, asking passengers to pay only what they think their journey was worth after touch down.
The move was partly inspired by Radiohead’s 2007 pay-what-you-want album, ‘In Rainbows’, and could revolutionise the way airlines make money. AirFare, whose slogan is ‘Flying For Fairer Fares’, will ask passengers to pay a donation during or after their flight via an online honesty box or through a dedicated smartphone app. Staff will also pass through the cabin with donation buckets shortly before touch down, for those wishing to pay in cash.
Gareth Williams, Skyscanner CEO commented:
“This is incredibly exciting for the airline industry and is turning the low-cost model on its head. If ‘pay what you want’ worked for a band, why shouldn’t it work for an airline? Despite AirFair flights having no price attached, we’ll be showing availability on Skyscanner alongside the average donation for each route.”
Similar to budget airline competitors with more traditional business models, food and drinks will be available for purchase onboard, but unlike any other airline, travellers will not need to pay anything up front. Instead, AirFair hopes to woo customers with its top-class service, entertainment and punctuality, which will encourage them to pay what AirFair is calling a ‘fair fare’.
The company expects its ‘honesty box’ concept to be a talking point between passengers, with many travellers curious of how much the person sitting next to them will pay for their flight. In order to ensure donations are sufficient to keep the airline profitable, AirFair has carried out extensive studies and plan to offer flights only on routes most likely to generate high revenues. London City to St Tropez, Monaco and Zurich are the first to be launched, whereas no flights to or from Scotland have been announced.
Will E. Gobust, AirFair CEO commented:
“Passengers are sick of paying rip-off ‘add-on’ fares only to be served by an orange-skinned trolley-dolly who’s more interested in telling her colleagues who she snogged last night, than actually providing good service. All our cabin and ground staff will be recruited from Swiss finishing schools to ensure they have impeccable manners, and fake-tan will be outlawed for employees.
“People reward good service and products they like, and our model of asking passengers to pay what they want will change the airline industry for the better. On top of a basic wage, all AirFair staff will receive a share of donations, meaning they’ll be driven to go that extra air mile to keep passengers happy.
“While we don’t expect every passenger to pay over the odds, we predict we will be profitable within the first twelve months, as long as we don’t operate routes from Scotland.”
AirFair will track payments of its passengers, which will enable it to build detailed profiling of its customers. High-donating passengers will be eligible to join a reward scheme which offer perks such as first-choice seat selection, a complimentary smartie, and unlimited sherbet dip-dabs.
“It’s the little things that make all the difference on AirFair” added Gobust.
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