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Cheapskates on board

Picture of Vicente Padilla

Vicente Padilla

AERTEC / CEO & Founder


At my local supermarket plastic bags are no longer free. They charge you a ridiculous 5 cent fee for a good quality one. Of course, that pushes people to bring in their own bags to avoid paying the fee. Furthermore, since grocery shopping is not a one-item task, those who can’t ever remember to grab the bag in advance – people like me – have gained unbeatable juggling skills.

People are willing to put up with lots of pain if… they know they are saving a penny.

That makes the whole shopping process quite inconvenient. Why don’t we just pay the 5 cents and get over with?

Last Sunday I had a breakthrough revelation. People are willing to put up with lots of pain if… they know they are saving a penny. In other words, we are willing to tolerate discomfort and indignity as long as it’s cheap. Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s visionary boss, reached the same conclusion as me… but many years before.

O’Leary charges people for checked-in baggage. That pushes us to figure out how to make do with a single carry-on. He persuades us to catch an ignominious 5:15 AM flight even though it may arrive at destination well before any cock is awake. He forces us to print out our self-made boarding cards; little does it matter if you don’t have a printer at reach. He finally herds us in a cattle-like fashion well before our flight’s plane is at the gate. We then have to stand there, for a long while, just like animals at the slaughtering house.

You cannot even escape from the on-board circus of the scratch cards.

I may fuss and whine. Grumbling won’t take me anywhere. I’ve got what I paid for. I know it. How can I complain? I went for it just because…tickets were cheap.



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