We’re all familiar with cutthroat airline fare slashing, but this is ridiculous. Budget airline Flybe has admitted that it paid temps to fill up its flights from Norwich to Dublin. The move was a desperate attempt by the airline to obtain a 280,000 pound rebate in passenger fees from Norwich Airport.
The rules state that a target of 15,000 passengers flying the Dublin-Norwich route must be met in order to qualify for the airport’s rebate. Faced with the prospect of empty seats and hefty fees, Flybe did the next best thing – it paid people to be passengers on the plane to make up the numbers. Temps were lured with the promise of a free flight complete with in-flight entertainment and a free bar.
The airport authorities are not impressed. Apparently they meant that all 15,000 passengers had to be “paying”. Flybe on the other hand, has accused the airport of effectively holding the airline ransom by rejecting a last minute plea for a partial rebate in the event it was not able to meet its quota.
Environmentalists have raised complaints over the obvious emissions from these unnecessary and essentially bogus flights. The folks at Flybe maintain they will pay to offset any carbon emissions caused by these flights.