Flying Blue Air France Con Trick 20

The invoice for “Free Tickets” from KLM/Air France Flying Blue

Taxes and surcharges Adult

Carrier imposed surcharge 372.28
UK air passenger duty 103.98
Airport fee 36.45
Passenger service charge 32.07
Passenger service charge 21.61
Passenger service charge international 13.93
French airport tax 12.72
Embarkation tax 4.50
Solidarity tax 1.00

Total per passenger 598.54
Number of passengers 4

Total including taxes and surcharges : £ 2,394.16

I fly around the world a great deal and had never tried to use any of the “airmile” type benefits I had accrued. As I kept receiving tempting brochures and internet offers, I decided to use my 420,000 Flying Blue miles on taking the family to Martinique for a holiday.

Flying Blue had been bombarding my inbox with a promo. I was stupid enough to invest an hour into trying to book this online. This is the bill I was presented with at the end for these “free” flights.

The taxes I can understand as they are passed on by the airline, but the “Carrier Imposed Surcharge” of 372.28 per person is simply an airfare. I phoned up Flying Blue to query this and was told it was a “fuel surcharge”.

It was stupid of me to believe I was actually going to be able to get what all that promotional material seemed to offer. On the face of it this is just a simple tale of Craig being gullible. But I can’t help feeling that the pointlessness of all those brochures and emails, of the rigmarole of your membership card and points accumulation and statements, all to attempt to sell you something you didn’t particularly want, by deceit, says something about the lack of values of straightforwardness in modern society. Or something.

Anyway Flying Blue is a confidence trick, and if this saves someone else the time and disappointment of bothering with it, that would be a good thing.

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20 thoughts on “Flying Blue Air France Con Trick

  • Shackleford Hurtmore

    I always just cashed them in for the free suitcases. You don’t end up paying so much in surcharges, and they make nice presents or prizes in the Scout’s christmas raffle…

  • KingofWelshNoir

    Wow that’s amazing. Presumably that 28p on the ‘Carrier Imposed Surcharge’ is there to imply the figure was carefully worked out rather than plucked out of the air.

  • mark golding

    I am sorry to hear this Craig. The deal is obviously like Mont Pelee, the innocent looking mountain is really a volcano much like the ‘Flying Blue’ deal. Others beware!

  • Tom Welsh

    The only thing that matters to many people (including the rich and famous) today is money – as much of it as possible, as quickly as possible, for as little as possible in return. With an acceptably low chance of actually going to prison.
    Once that is understood, it is clear that massive publicity campaigns like the one you responded to are likely to pay off. Intelligent or sceptical people will avoid or ignore them, but a sufficient percentage of punters will fall for it. Just as enough fall for phishing scams to make them worthwhile.

  • Mary

    Sorry O/T
    (Reuters) – Barclays (BARC.L) said on Wednesday that City veteran Alison Carnwath, who headed the bank’s remuneration committee, had resigned as a non-executive director for personal reasons.
    “With regret I have concluded that I am no longer able to devote sufficient time to my role as a director of Barclays given my other commitments,” Carnwath said in a statement.
    Carnwath, a 20-year veteran of investment banking, and one of the highest profile women in London’s financial community, also serves as a director of Man Group (EMG.L) and is chairman of Land Securities.
    Komodo has all the info on the Man Group.

  • Abe Rene

    It’s true that as a rule we can’t get something for nothing.

    But there’s an exception. The free tickets to see “One Turbulent Ambassador” really were worth taking advantage of!

  • Frazer

    Martinique…well…pack your suntan lotion mate, my advise would be to find a nice shady bar. Have fun…

  • Chris

    Only advantage is being able to use the short check-in queue. Also like seeing that I can fly say return from Europe to San Francisco and somehow only get a fraction of the actual miles flown. I guess there is a coefficient depending on class flown. Why call it air miles? Why not, Rip Off Tokens or something less misleading.

  • Passerby

    The free traveling elven year old boys flying to Rome and elsewhere have been stretching the airlines budgets, hence the surcharges!
    These days the notions of anything for free is as far fetched as the man on Mars. However the con merchants riding on the back of the trust of the punters get on with their fraudulent conduct, hoping no one will actually notice what is going on, that is other than those whom have been conned and stung.
    Although this works both ways, after all our dear leader Anthony Linton Blair made lying a culturally accepted and morally tolerated practice.
    Some while back, a wannabe client who had won an item during a promotional raffle, turns up and proceeds to complain about the incomplete kit that she had received as her prize! Upon asking her the most obvious fact: how long did you use the kit before you realized it was incomplete? She answered that she her son had used it a dozen time at the most, if that!
    Trouble is she was complaining about the missing power supply of the kit, whiteout which the kit would have been inoperable, pointing this fact to her, and clarifying that her claim is a fraudulent lie. It transpired that during her moving house the said missing power supply has gone missing. Further she then asked for another power supply to be provided to her free of charge. Upon refusal to comply with her wishes, the rather large female turned around and marched out of the premises shouting and screaming she would never recommend our services.
    Notwithstanding the above, whilst the security apparatchik are too busy screening the hapless traveling punters daring to dream of getting out and about, and making sure that none of these offenders have any drink bottles to take on board the planes, as well as stripping the action men toys (presents for the kids etc)from any kind of guns and knives (size does not matter holding true for once), none of the security agents seem to give a shit that a stowaway is boarding an international flight.
    Dunchyo just feel safe with all those confiscated drinks bottles, and hair spray cans?

  • glenn_uk

    KingofWelshNoir: When you see odd prices (such as £372.28) it could be because it’s meant to look like some well-considered sum, but more likely it’s had successive increases by some percentage, rounded up to the next penny. Such as when you see £1.22 for a coffee – it probably started off at £1.00, and got bumped up with a 5% price rise four times.

  • War Dance

    “Such as when you see £1.22 for a coffee – it probably started off at £1.00, and got bumped up with a 5% price rise four times.”
    Best advise is to stick with tea, not that foreign muck from India or China mind, good old British tea.

  • Passerby

    Check this out;
    Shock as GDP shrinks by 0.7%
    However here there is a need for clarification; in economic parlance a recession is growth of less than 1 percent, ie the economy is growing but it is not growing above one percent. Therefore the above showing a clear contraction, ie roughly one percent of the economy has gone up in the smoke and lost. This puts it in the category of depression, however in the world of lairs and cheats and libor fiddlers the standard word play comes to the aid of the cheats and liars to rescue them and as ever the obliging “media” join the chorus and sing from the fiddled hymn sheet; in case they talk down the economy, a variation on the belief that hocus pocus normally conjures devils, imps, and fairies.
    Needless to point out you and I are screwed royal, and no there is no hope of a reach around and or the offer of cigarette for all our troubles. Further, as we read the assets are being picked up for pennies in the pound, and therefore before long there is nothing left to be owned by you and I, and effectively we become consumers/customers/clients of the said asset grabbers who will afford us certain rights;
    We will have the right to get screwed even more.
    We will have the right to be slaves under conditions of our own choices.
    We will have the right to be heard and no one taking blind fucking bit of notice of us.

  • david

    I have flown to South and Central America 4 times using my frequent flyer miles fro American and Delta and have never paid more than $50 in taxes for an award ticket. My last to La Paz was $25 +70,000. I flew business on my return flight. I guess you need to do a better job at shopping around

  • Clark (as moderator)

    Well you learn something new every day they say. Today I’ve learned that posts about air fares attract spam like the Olympics attracts rats. I must have deleted about twenty so far.

  • Roderick Russell

    @ Guest – Looks like the USA is following the UK’s lead on closet press censorship. Former Sunday Times Editor Harold Evans explains this censorship in his book “the paper chase” saying that, when it comes to the establishment, the UK Press, which he describes as being only “half-free”, has a history of “Reservatio Mentalis” (closing one’s mind to inconvenient truths) “to make obedience easier”.

    Even wore, others have suggested that MI5/6 have penetrated the press and my experience with the Guardian (pages 40 & 41 of my Zersetzen Research Paper) suggests to me that this is true.

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