Three teachers at our son’s school have been arranging a class trip to Scotland. They contacted Ryanair and asked for a group rate for 20 seats. The response was unbelievable: around €300 per seat.
This is for a short, nonstop flight from Faro to Edinburgh. It should cost nowhere near that much, especially for a group rate of so many seats.
So the teachers abandoned that plan and instead hopped on the laptop of one instructor, from which they bought six tickets. Then they opened up another laptop, using a different ISP, and bought a few more. By their third attempt, the prices were already going up.
They waited a few days, giving the Ryanair algorithm time to respond to the lack of purchases and lower the seat pricing again. Then they bought a few more.
In this way, and spaced over the course of several days, these three teachers purchased 20 seats on the same flight.
Their average price per seat? Around €140.
I applaud their savvy and persistence in getting rates that Portuguese parents can afford. After all, we work for some of the lowest wages in the EU while paying some of the highest taxes — a killer combination that doesn’t allow Portuguese to travel much. For most of these students, this will be the first time they’ve ever seen another country besides Spain.
But what the hell is wrong with you, Ryanair? Schoolteachers call you for a group rate of 20 seats and you highball them? Have you never heard of a group discount? How about an educational discount? Or basic decency?
This is how your airline became the punchline for so many jokes. You earned it.