Having finally woken up after falling asleep during that play-off over the dullest hole in golf at Gleneagles I checked my e-mails. There, among the usual smorgasbord of nonsense offering me stuff I never want to purchase was an interesting one from the Purple Parking people.
Purple Parking, as many of you will know, offers holiday car-parking at Heathrow. This means they depend on lots of people flying abroad on holiday and as the numbers actually boarding planes is seriously down at present they are rather concerned about the different factors affecting our decision whether to fly or not.
So they took a look at which airlines are charging what for the privilege of carrying our golf clubs to a destination whether it is to Spain, Portugal, France, Ireland or Scotland. Guess what? More airlines than ever are now charging to carry clubs and, judged as a whole, the prices charged have risen apparently by an average 50%.
Even good, old British Airways have cottoned on to this revenue stream and now charge £30 a trip for clubs – if they are in addition to checked-in baggage – they used to carry for nothing. Ryanair and Easyjet we already know about but BA!
Just about the only airlines presently not charging in any circumstances are Emirates and Virgin and they are hardly in the short-haul business. I don’t mind being charged a reasonable sum for my clubs but this should not be more than circa a tenner. Surely that would be enough to cover any extra costs involved.
As it is, the airlines, while increasing their evenue, are in danger of shooting themselves in the foot by discouraging even more passengers not to bother taking a golf holiday that involves an aircraft.
I know that we can hire clubs at the other end but who wants to play more than one round of golf minus his or her own clubs. Most of us struggle enough as it is without ending up with some ropey set of clubs that is the wrong type of shaft and quite probably mis-matched. There isn’t a lot we can do about this except to keep on doing what we already are…which is to boycott flying in the first place.
The world may have become a smaller place but it has also become a more irritating one.