DO WE GET VALUE FOR MONEY?Back to Forum
I would also add to that that like others I agree that travel has come down in costs massively in real terms so yes on the face of it we get value for money.That said onboard products differ massively and what we get in W today used to be business when I started flying 25 years ago, likewise business class product today (hard product at least) is what we used to get in F so it is hard to compare.
That’s a great point, Superchris.
Did you ever fly BA Super Club in the 80s?
Long haul ‘middle seat free’ LOL13 Sep 2017
FDOS – Those Super Club seats (just a conversion of economy class seating) were too wide at 24 ins. They felt fine for a couple of hours but after that you realised and felt their shortcomings.
superchris – I believe today’s better business class seats are better than those of F class of the 1970s.13 Sep 2017
FDOS – Those Super Club seats (just a conversion of economy class seating) were too wide at 24 ins. They felt fine for a couple of hours but after that you realised 0and felt their shortcomings.
superchris – I believe today’s better business class seats are better than those of F class of the 1970s.
As I wrote on the post
Long haul ‘middle seat free’ LOL
And yes, I remember 9 hours to Nassau passing slowly 🙂13 Sep 2017
Fantastic topic Jonathan
And I’m unashamedly and unapologetically probably going to ruffle a few of my fellow BTer’s feathers here.
IMO, Value is such an ambiguous and subjective word, like beauty it’s truly in the eyes of the beholder.
Plus a shout out to bluemooner and his comparison. It reminded me about how the definition of “value” and it perception has evolved over the years. So, also a mention to Martyn’s definition…. Value for money = Price paid for the benefits received.
Now to ruffling feathers,
And the best way to do it is to self-deprecate and see if my thoughts make anybody else feel even slightly uncomfortable.
I’ll start with sharing a philosophy I learnt from my Tony Benn, Laurel &Hardy, Wine, Real ale and Ski loving ol’ Dad………. “Whenever you part with your money, take a moment and think about how long in time it took you to earn what your about to spend” ….
Thus linking value to toil, sweat and time!!
Since reading the comments , I’ve also questioned my how my own Values have changed through the years, as I justify to myself whether or not I’m getting value for money. . …And I wonder if the comparatively recent phenomena of relentless globalization has impacted my personal convictions for the worse. .
My conclusion is that once upon a time, when I had little spending power, I actually appreciated far more what I was getting for my money. Added to that I was far more principled and was aware of my fellow human beings that sold and served me. Probably because, back then I was closer to their financial plight than I am to today’s, low wage, hourly contracted souls slaving away invisibly in clear view of me !!
I’m ashamed to say as I climbed the corporate ladder and my salary rose, it allowed me to start spending the growing yet limited disposal income I had., I now look back and realise I spent that money with little consideration of the real cost, and the consequences attached to seeking out the best deal/price so that I could selfishly achieve, without any thought of anybody else , my own self-gratification. Simply put I exploited a situation to get value for money for me, without no thought, of those poorly paid human resources I considered peers in a past life.
I’ve gorged on cheap flights, cheaper holidays, designer clothes and of course scandalously cheap food. Occasionally placating my conscience by supposedly buying ethically. .And guess what,, nowadays you can choose your guilt level …..These huge conglomerates working in this globalised world actually facilitate this choice for you. In some mad Machiavellian way allowing you to free yourself of blame, as long as you can justify it as value for money!!…..Don’t believe me, next time you go shopping in your local supermarket, try buying eggs without questioning your personal culpability, based on how much you’re prepared to pay for your Sunday morning. fried eggs
Now later in life, and mainly free of financial responsibilities for others , I try to clear my conscious of past misdemeanours by spreading my disposal wealth responsibly, choosing local farm produce and hiring handymen from the neighbourhood to do odd jobs I’d prefer not too.
And when I look at my social circle, I find the same greed arising, as consumers we’ve been conditioned to equate best value with low cost, thus encouraging this constant drive to the bottom. Consequently, not appreciating the true price of how much something should cost.
A classic example of this was my mate on Sunday, who refused to pay £88 to join us on a return flight from EDI to Vigo .And all because he thought Ryanair was ripping him off. He couldn’t comprehend why he was being forced to pay double what we payed 3 weeks ago…
In summary, I sadly conclude that I’ve moved closer to a person who thinks he knows the price of everything, yet sadly either doesn’t truly appreciate the real value of something or chooses to turn a blind eye to the destitution closer at hand than I’d like to admit !!
Otherwise , why would I have been tempted by that £40 Ryanair deal to Vigo ?
So, next time you take advantage of that unbeatable “value for money fare” take a moment and wonder what cost is being paid elsewhere for you to enjoy that feeling of self-satisfaction that you’ve got one over on the faceless airline.!!13 Sep 2017
Excellent reply Canuck, and i agree completely, in my case as my income rose I never fell into the value of nothing trap, managed to stay grounded, god knows how! I had a grandfather that grew up on the streets, self made and knew the value of everything, and a father that would rather spend money on a new bespoke suit than pay the household bills. However, views do change. Years ago, I would never have dreamt of spending over £100 (adjusted) on a laptop bag/trolley/backpack even though I could afford it. My upbringing and therefore view was that paying 4 x that is a waste for something that functions as well as the lower one. Now however I see the value in paying high ticket prices on some items that are utilities because they are a long-term investment. What was bad value for money back then is now good value for money. If I am happy with my purchase/service and I don’t wince when I see the bank statement, then its value for money
But I draw the line at designer brands on everyday clothes, bags etc just for the sake of it, i never buy a brand new car, opting to buy one that is 6 months and someone else has eaten the depreciation. My current car I have had 3 years, was 6 months old with 3K on the clock and had already lost 70K in depreciation, 40% in 6 months! As i only drive about 8K a year i can see me keeping it for another 5 years at least. I am in the electronic manufacturing industry and as such I would never buy anything from Apple for just that reason.
Vertu, Case in point14 Sep 2017
Great videos, and I love the fact the passengers are all wearing suits. Hardly see that anymore in C or F.
Canucklad makes a good point about one’s perspective of value changing over time. I pay my on tickets for most of my travel, but now being older I’m also looking for comfort and what makes travel easier. Until a few years ago I would have traveled short-haul in Economy, but now I value the seat next to me being free, sitting near the front and not having to fight to stow my hand luggage.
In my earlier example I was faced with the following:
TAP via LIS, 5 hours @ E. 2,600 for the two of us in an ATR 76 prop plane
Fly via FRA, 5 hours @ E. 1,000 for the two of us in an A321, extra miles and a great lounge in Frankfurt (admittedly the lounges at LIS and OPO are very good).
or Ryanair direct.
No contest really, I would not fly Ryanair and Lufthansa gave me more miles than TAP for less money in a quieter and much more comfortable aircraft. All in all that for me was very good value.14 Sep 2017
Excellent thread – and an excellent post Canucklad.
I think one thing not touched on within the thread though is perceived Value for Money can be influenced by expected Return on Investment of a given trip. If you know that potential ROI isn’t huge – you may not feel that you can invest to much into a trip and want to keep costs to a minimum and so forth. However if you are certain of an excellent ROI many times over and above the cost of the trip – then the VFM differentials change and one may choose that going up front over Economy/Premium is justified. I think many smaller SME’s – micro businesses will look at travel in this way – as the travelers are often invested in the businesses they work.
But then travelling on Leisure may alter ones approach and attitude to VFM – likewise working for the big corporates where spending on travel up front on mainline legacy carriers doesn’t seemingly cause any issue and potential “waste” isn’t a concern of booking travel in this way.
Ultimately – I think it depends on ones up bringing – the values they hold in life, how they live and perceptions of ones “entitlement” and expectation to certain things in life. Personally there will be times I splurge on certain things but then I try to refrain from endlessly buying the latest must have consumer good. I have my flaws – but I know what they are. I like to think that I’m not someone “who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing”. But I think VFM is defined – certainly in travel – on a case by case basis as the many variable are almost certainly different for every trip one makes.14 Sep 2017
Good point Tim, looking back I was fortunate that we had good margins and so premium travel was not an issue. Further, despite that many tickets were bought ex Nigeria or Cairo where the savings were considerable and i did a lot of business. Of course those were IATA days but the VFM principle still applied.
Another factor to consider is taxation, especially if it’s ones own business, and how will travelling Economy v Business effect profitability. Will the savings you make and discomfort you suffer just mean the taxman takes more from you so s/he can enjoy business travel instead?14 Sep 2017
Interesting thread. For me it depends who I am flying with, and how quickly I have to be a fully functioning businessman at the other end. If I am on my own, and have time to relax and freshen up the far end before starting work (and I often do, being self-employed and able to choose my schedules and airlines), then cheap seats work well and save money.
But if I am with my wife, I try to go business at least. It is fun for both of us – a bit special, more relaxed, less like being herded like cattle, and I am less grumpy at the far end!
So, there’s the irony: I tend to fly economy when travelling on business and business class when on holiday.14 Sep 2017
I agree, excellent post canucklad, also refreshing and honest.
Regarding ‘value for money’, Mrs GivingupBA says that spending money can be saving money, i.e. it pays to spend more and use better hotels, airlines, and travel classes: it pays by putting you in much better shape and therefore gaining. It may sound simplistic, but it’s always made me think and I believe there’s some truth in it.14 Sep 2017
I find this concept fascinating and will have further views.
Just by way of comparison, I don’t think that I have ever paid a full price for any of my clothing. I noticed early in my adult life that for 2 months of the year, most clothing retailers sold what stock they had at nearly 50% reduction. Not being bothered to have the most immediate fashion item, I bough all my clothing at this time. So I always thought to myself, ‘If a seller can actually sell their wares for 50% of the ‘normal’ price then what actually is the “full normal RRP” price.
It seems that the Airline business can often do this (although there are layers of complexity) in that occasionally the Airline industry has some very aggressive fares (both Y and J) and you can be lucky of you need to book at these times.
So if you need to pay a ‘full’ normal fare then you are almost by definition not getting ‘Value’ because at other times (or in other circumstances such as having originated your trip in Europe in BA’s case) you may well be paying substantially more for the ‘same’ product as the PAX sitting beside you is paying.
I am often shocked at what PAX who fly direct are required to pay in comparison to what a connecting PAX pays. But this only happens when competition is insuficuent to prevent this happening.
As LuganoP indicated with an indirect routing, and I have experienced this many times, the direct routing seems to attract an enormous surcharge compared to connections. I expect that this happens because there are a significant body of PAX who really need the direct (shorter) connection and corporate budgets are paying.
All this achieves is that the ‘Value’ of the product comes under scrutiny because the price paid varies so significantly!15 Sep 2017
Canucklad I agree with your fathers and Dickens Mr. Micawbers theory and try to spend no more money on vacation than paid per day-though often exceed it!
Certainly one has to buy at the lowest price if ťhe same quality and air fares are a good example.
Planning to spend only what I earn on retirement and one has time to get better value fares in advance I trust!16 Sep 2017
So many things factor into this, but for me it is a simple question of least hassle. Will pay more for anything which gives me priority check-in and security, comfort of lounge, priority boarding, smaller cabin, seat where I can sleep, decent food and wines, and being one of the first to deplane. After that comes direct flight where possible. Since my resources are not unlimited, there are some allowances made on the quality of all the above. That means that I do often fly BA as I frequently can have all this for a reasonable fare, since most of my travel is now now North America. For Asia and Oceania there would be other choices to be made.17 Sep 2017
Good points from ‘nevereconomy’. I too will pay to avoid crowds, queues, and hassle. I don’t really care about lounges as I try not to spend enough time at an airport for it to matter, and on the odd occasion when I have to, can pay for access. Having used several BA lounges on two recent return trips, I just don’t get the hype about lounge access.
As I do most of my travelling within Europe on easyJet, by choice as I think they are good, I buy the easyJet+ card every year for myself and the ‘missus’. It costs about £360, for which we can choose any seat on the aircraft, which can cost up to £18, we also get ‘Speedy Boarding’ (which is a bit of a farce at most airports), Fast Track through security at some airports, and can use the priority bag drops at most airports. Get an additional piece of CBBG too. You don’t need to be Einstein to see that it’s good value and pays for itself after about 10 sectors, which I usually do in a month or so when I’m in Europe.17 Sep 2017