Gone are the days when you can trust the national flag carrier to treat its passengers with integrity and respect. Ireland's Aer Lingus is now employing shady tactics to belie their marketing promises. Today, I received an email from Aer Lingus stating "Guaranteed 25% discount". Feeling that I might like a cheaper fare to the old country, I attempted booking but was flabbergasted by the tiny discount amount offered. Let's look at how Aer Lingus calculated the discount on the outbound leg. 1 Adult = 1 x EUR 66.99, Fare p.p. = EUR 27.99, Taxes & Charges = EUR 46.00, Discount = EUR 7.00. Seven Euro! It turns out that the 25% discount only applies to the "Fare p.p." part. Who else splits their seat prices into Adult and Fare p.p.? Not Lufthansa, not British Airways, not even Ryanair. How arcane and misleading is this unnecessary dissection of a seat price? Shame on you Aer Lingus.
I rented a 2012 Ford Focus for a 600km trip around Ireland last week. Even though its sculpted exterior made it look sleek and swift, its laborious 1.6 litre diesel engine ensured that I didn't get anywhere very fast. It rocked uncomfortably over Ireland's secondary roads and left me pining for rest stops along the way. The biggest problem was the intrusive seat supports. They pressed hard against the outside of my thighs leaving me sore and restless. This is what I don't understand. Why do slow, mainstream cars have unforgiving race-style seats? It is because Ford wants married Joe to feel a bit sportier as he drops his kids to the pool on a Saturday morning? The thing is, everyone knows that Joe is not cool enough or willing to spend the money needed to get him in to something really special. Personally, I'd chose comfort over having to sit awkwardly in an average car that is trying to be a little bit less average.
I'm Frank Gaine. Strategist, Designer, Manager, Founder, Educator.