Mike's story - airline fees

When Mike became unable to travel, his airline charged him hundreds of pounds to transfer the flights to his son.

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Julia Somerville: As devoted rugby fans, the highlight of the year for Mike and his wife Edith was booking tickets to see Scotland play Wales in the Six Nations match in February.

Mike: We were delighted to find that we could book a direct flight from Edinburgh to Cardiff but surprised to find that the price was £583 for two people return.

Julia Somerville: But, Mike’s excitement was short lived. Not long after making the booking he was diagnosed with an illness, which ruled out travelling to Cardiff.

Mike: Understood the tickets were non-refundable. But, we did have the option to transfer them to another person. So, my son, who loves rugby, I decided to transfer the tickets to him.

Julia Somerville: Mike knew that there would be a £160 charge to change the names on the flight tickets. But, when he called the airline they told him he’d have to stump up a further £231. They said it was to cover a rise in the seat price since he’d made his original booking. So rugby mad Mike feels he’s been left with a pretty big penalty. Just for changing the name on his tickets. The price he’s paid works out at £2.29 per mile for his flight.

Mike: So in the end two flights from Scotland to Wales return ended up at £975 which is absolutely outrageous.

Julia Somerville: For the same price the family could have travelled from Edinburgh to Cardiff and back again in a chauffeur driven luxury car with a bottle of bubbly thrown in.

Mike: I wish airlines were more transparent in the way that they charge. So, people can actually see what they are paying for.

Quick tips for tutors

A short video about the huge charges Mike incurred from his airline when illness meant he had to transfer the flights to his son. He works out how much the flights ended up costing per mile and compares this with the cost of other methods of transport.

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