Are Aer Lingus pulling a Ryanair Heineken Cup stunt?

A friend of mine drew my attention to this last week. It looks like Aer Lingus might be pulling a Ryanair stunt on shafting Irish fans that are planning on traveling to Edinburgh for the 2009 Heineken Cup Final.

Last year, Ryanair rescheduled flights into Bristol Airport near Cardiff that had been booked cheaply way ahead of time to an unsuitable time forcing supporters to cancel their booking so they could get their in time for the game. Then, once everyone was gone off those flights, they reinstated them, but at ridiculously higher prices than previously available. I wrote about this here last year.

It looks now like Aer Lingus might be pulling the same trick this year. Since flights were enormously expensive into both Edinburgh and Glasgow on Heineken Cup final weekend since about last September, people were finding alternative ways of getting over for the game.

Once of those routes was to fly into Newcastle and to drive to Edinburgh. Ryanair have copped on to this route to the Final in Edinburgh as well – normally a weekend return is €90 but on the Heineken Cup Final weekend it’s €245. I’ve no problem with this – it’s supply and demand.

However, as of Friday, Aer Lingus flights to Newcastle will be canceled from May 1st – 3 weeks before the final.

How long, I wonder, before flights to Newcastle are reinstated again, but at vastly higher prices? This is what I do have a problem with.

All of this shafting of customers who are smart enough to buy their flights plenty of time in advance, unfortunately, is perfectly allowable.

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4 Responses to Are Aer Lingus pulling a Ryanair Heineken Cup stunt?

  1. Tom March 23, 2009 at 22:33 #

    That is really lousy…they shouldn’t be allowed to do that. Pity some ombudsman can’t put a stop to it.

  2. valueireland March 23, 2009 at 23:20 #

    @Tom – Unfortunately, there’s no law or regulation being broken here. You can’t be prosecuted for breaking the spirit of the law, so as long as refunds are paid to customers, there’s nothing can be done here.


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