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CHEAP (or not?) AIR FARES


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I have never read anything that says air travel is the best method. It may be that a flight from Shetland to the mainland uses less fuel than the boat but that is not quite the full picture. The plane carries about 30 people (I'm not sure it's been so long), luggage and some mail where as the boat carries up to 200 people(?), cars, livestock and all the rest of the cargo to move in and out of Shetland. So that taken into accounrt the boat will always be better. The plane also releases it's pollutants higher up in the atmosphere and therefore does more damage.

 

The boat could be made more efficient and I welcomed the report into the efficiency of the boat. I just hope that it is acted upon.

 

 

If only it was so simple. Theres many a night the boat sails with less people than a plane would carry. The report into the 'efficiency' of the boat is not so simple either. The proposal is based on the present boats steaming at full speed with all four engines running. They actually shut down two engines whenever they can.

 

The proposed replacements are for larger boats with lower engine power. Just look to the Norrona for an example. A low powered boat which cant get alonside in Lerwick in high winds and sails on by. Also not enough engine power to keep her off the rocks in Torshavn harbour a year ago.

 

There will always be a need to fly in and out of shetland. I dont see how anyone can complain about the amount of fuel burnt by planes flying in and out of Shetland. I'll bet airforce 1 and it's accompanying fleet of helicopter gunships burn more fuel carrying a certain person around than the entire population of Shetland uses.

 

Might be slightly veering off topic here!!!

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I think airfares are already far too low as it is. Flying is an environmental disaster aeroplane operators don't even pay fuel tax, they should pay a higher rate of fuel duty than for other forms of transport due to thier environmental impact.

 

This would serve to reduce air travel and force people to use more sustainable methods of transport or even better just not go at all and only travel when necessary.

 

I think for a Lib Dem minister to push for reduced air fares is at odds with thier recent green retoric, just goes to show that they are as usual saying one thing whilst doing another

 

Maybe the place to start then is with pleasure and holiday charter flights, all of which are luxuries, rather than the unfortunate and undesirable facts of life in accessing civilisation from a mid ocean rock. Given the recent "expert" opinion that the only viable alternative, the north boats, are an enviornmental disaster, I think there's plenty of room to argue that a handful of flights in a day by old Saab turboprops are the lesser of the two evils.

 

I have never read anything that says air travel is the best method.

 

I wasn't suggesting it was, I was simply pointing out that in Shetland's case it's an either/or case, and while flying may be less than ideal enviornmentally, by all accounts the boat is no better. IMHO, we have no real "Green" option to use, unless there are plans afoot to make the next north boat a three masted schooner.

 

It may be that a flight from Shetland to the mainland uses less fuel than the boat but that is not quite the full picture.

 

Agreed.

 

The plane carries about 30 people (I'm not sure it's been so long), luggage and some mail where as the boat carries up to 200 people(?), cars, livestock and all the rest of the cargo to move in and out of Shetland.

 

Currently the aircraft used may only carry approx 30 (I haven't flown recently, so am not sure), however previous incarnations have had up to double that capacity. They also carry 1-2 small truck loads of freight when possible/it is available.

 

The vast majority of livestock leaves on an additional chartered boat (making it 3 boats polluting at one time) between the end of August and November. Cargo for a larger part travels on a dedicated cargo only boat (making a total of 4 boats all polluting at one time on occasion).

 

So that taken into accounrt the boat will always be better.

 

Not sure how you reached this conclusion, but we will have to agree to disagree.

 

The plane also releases it's pollutants higher up in the atmosphere and therefore does more damage.

 

Given that a not insignificant percentage of the human population worldwide live and work at altitudes, and create pollutants daily, at at least twice that of the usual Shetland/Scottish Mainland flights cruising altitude, I feel this is a rather moot point. I would be curious to know if just one of the big trans-atlantic fuel guzzlers at 30,000+ ft was to miss one flight, just how many trips one of our little twin turbo props could make back and forth to Aberdeen/Wick/Inverness at circa 3000 ft before they managed to create the damage the big one would have done in that one flight.

 

The boat could be made more efficient and I welcomed the report into the efficiency of the boat. I just hope that it is acted upon.

 

I would just ask for anybody that is planning a trip no matter how long or short to choose the methods of transport least damaging to the environment even if it does take longer.

 

e.g. In McFly's case the train from Glasgow to Aberdeen then the bost to Lerwick followed by the bus to the south end. It would take about 20 hours instead of about 4 hours by plane but these are the choices we have to make.

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yeah flights are far to expensive...they should sort it out...expensive flights means less passengers. meaning on only a certain amount of profit..they need to balance that out with cheaper flight with an increased number of potential passengers,... but then again, if they had cheaper flights then the increase in passengers would mean a demand for more planes...i think they will pretty much stick with what they are doing. and islanders will be forever P****d off about this.

 

Boat is fine..plus its a great excuse to not go to work when you get back.

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If flights are too expensive why are fliers not paying fuel tax like every other form of transport?

 

Also if you are a plane user you should get used to the price increasing because oil won't be getting any cheaper?

 

Another point is that with oil running out how will the planes of the future be powered, pehaps they will not exist except in a museum.

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  • 1 month later...

my son got air discount card then tried to get a flight. cheapest for day he wanted to go was £136.00 sumburgh to glasgow return. he only wanted to go one way and was quoted £135.90 needless to say he went by boat £33 including bed in shared cabin and that was with student discount. when asking about student seats on flight these were filled and probably had been about 3 months in advance. seemingly it will be cheaper if you book well in advance if you want to take advantage of the discount.

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hellsbells,

 

Did you book it through BA.com? I do seem to remember the same thing happening to me. For some reason, one-way trips seem to cost pretty much exactly the same as returns. I have no idea why this is.

 

In regards to student seats - yes, they get taken very fast indeed BUT why not just claim it back off SAAS? As long as you can show you purchased the ticket, you'll get it refunded.

 

You're actually wrong about booking well in advance. The discount actually favours last minute bookers, relatively anyway. You get the discount off the fare, not the tax. So the later you leave it, the bigger the discount. At the moment, I think they cheapest booking to Aberdeen return is £74 - you only save about £24.

 

Another thing I noticed - and I'm sure many of you have had this. Now, in my opinion, there is almost no point in flying to Aberdeen unless you are indeed going to Aberdeen or very nearby. Why?

 

The cheapest fares to Aberdeen seem now to be leaving a 8pm, and returning at 6am. Now I would think one would be hard pushed to make it from anywhere in Scotland to get to Aberdeen airport by around 5am. Chances are you will have to stay the night - incurring hotel costs perhaps. The rest of the fares are more expensive... however, Edinburgh airport seem to favour the first flight out and the last one back - which by all accounts if far more convenient for us Shetlanders. I think that flight, if you book around a week in advance being about £104.

 

I certainly will be going to Edinburgh alot more... plus, it's alot less depressing and grey than Aberdeen.. :wink:

 

Just a thought.

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i didn't book through ba but the local travel agents and it was on the tuesday for a flight the following tuesday. i agree with you that the cheaper flights seem to be early morning or late evening and as you say the cost of a nights accomodation adds more to the cost and most students want to get home or back again as cheap as possible. so to some students i know the boat will be the favoured option.

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Mario wrote

 

You're actually wrong about booking well in advance. The discount actually favours last minute bookers, relatively anyway. You get the discount off the fare, not the tax. So the later you leave it, the bigger the discount. At the moment, I think they cheapest booking to Aberdeen return is £74 - you only save about £24.

 

Not so.....well in a way it does. Sure if the "fare" element of a ticket to Edinburgh was say £150 to someone booking late the discount would be £60 making a nett "fare" of £90 but someone booking earlier and getting a "fare" element of £100 would only get a discount of £40 but the lower discount off a lower fare would give a nett fare of £60. All plus taxes etc. that do not get discounted.

 

In a way it is like supermarkets telling us to "Save" £2.99 on a so called buy one get one free special offer when what the really want us to do is spend £2.99.

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Not so.....well in a way it does. Sure if the "fare" element of a ticket to Edinburgh was say £150 to someone booking late the discount would be £60 making a nett "fare" of £90 but someone booking earlier and getting a "fare" element of £100 would only get a discount of £40 but the lower discount off a lower fare would give a nett fare of £60. All plus taxes etc. that do not get discounted.

 

In a way it is like supermarkets telling us to "Save" £2.99 on a so called buy one get one free special offer when what the really want us to do is spend £2.99.

 

Sorry JustMe, I'm just saying that in cases like flying to Aberdeen where the fare is relatively low, it's the tax that gets you. I wish it was just a 40% discount off the combined price. I'd be alot happier.

 

Here's a thing - I've tried about a million times trying to book online at BA and can't get in (I did once - about a week ago) - anyone else having the same problem?

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It makes me laugh, the fuss everyone makes about the price of fliying. It has always been expensive flying out of Shetland, I'm glad the executive are trying to help. Its just funny how some people are never happy. What do they want free flights whenever and where ever??

 

As for students, I know the student fare for flying is expensive, but at least you can change the booking.

 

At the end of the day its all down the personal choice. I'm happy to fly, your in Aberdeen in 1 hour, where as the boat is 12 hours, yes it might be cheap, but its painfully dull. There is nothing to do but watch the clock!!

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