Posted on: 07 December 2010 by Mark Howells
Loganair has announced a series of changes to its services which will come into effect in January.
The Flybe franchise carrier, which operates more than 500 flights a week on 26 routes will increase fares by an average of 2% for sales made on or after 1 January 2011. The below-inflation increase is lower than similar price rises announced by other trans-Scotland transport providers including ferry and rail operators.
Further changes will be introduced on 10 January with a revision to inflight services. Passengers will continue to be offered complimentary tea, coffee, water and orange juice on all flights of 45 minutes or longer, along with cereal bars on early flights and biscuits on mid-morning services. However, the airline has decided to stop offering complimentary alcohol and soft drinks to passengers.
Loganair’s commercial director Jonathan Hinkles explained, “In making this decision, we had to choose between continuing to provide free alcohol for a minority of our customers at a significant cost or cutting the service and keeping our fare increases below inflation for the benefit of all who choose to fly with us. We believe we have made the right decision, which offers the fairest outcome and will benefit the largest number of our passengers.”
“The rise in costs for new bookings from 1 January has, unfortunately, been unavoidable. We have continued to experience inflation-based increases in costs, such as Highlands & Islands Airports’ landing and passenger charges, and 2011 will see a further 20% rise in the cost of air traffic control provision at major airports, including Aberdeen. However, we have done everything in our power to keep the increases below the rate of inflation to minimise increases and keep air travel with Loganair as affordable and convenient as ever.”
The airline is also altering its terms and conditions to make it easier and cheaper for passengers who arrive at airports ahead of time to take an earlier flight to their destination. Provided that seats are available and the addition of an extra passenger will not delay the plane’s departure, travellers can choose to take the earlier service for a flat fee of £32.50 instead of paying a fee plus the difference in fare as at present. The difference can sometimes be substantial and can discourage passengers from choosing to take earlier flights.
These changes can only be made in person on arrival at the airport to avoid the possibility of passengers missing their earlier flight after rebooking. Passengers with Economy Plus tickets can still change their tickets on the day of departure without charge, provided that the change is made prior to their original intended time of departure.