#50 – Discount Airlines

17 12 2009

The bogan is no longer restricted to holidaying within a 5 hour Commodore journey of its nest, and it can thank a ginger Englishman for this fact. Now the whole family can whisk itself to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, or some other coast with a well-funded regional tourist body that pitches effectively to the bogan’s needs. It can even get to ‘countries’ like Bali, Phuket, and other places where there are poor people to haggle with for hair braids. Australia’s first discount airline in the modern era was launched in 2000, and Virgin Blue quickly acquired the loyalty of the bogan with its blend of lower prices and titillating hostesses.

Qantas soon realised that the bogan no longer aspired to board the flying Kangaroo, and subsequently launched Jetstar in 2004, with its blend of even lower prices and Magda Szubanski’s less persuasive visual charms. To conclude this race to the bottom, Tiger entered the market in 2007, boasting the lowest prices yet, and some scrubbers that the bogan had never heard of. This did not deter the bogan though, as anyone who has had the misfortune of being situated in a Tiger departure lounge can attest.

The discount airline business model involves stripping airline travel down to the basics, and passing the savings onto the customer. While the bogan generally desires to live like a celebrity, it is very receptive to the idea of getting somewhere really cheaply. This is where the bogan’s logic fails on two different levels that it seems unaware of. Firstly, it expects celebrity service at bargain prices. If the discount flight is 30 minutes late, a small cluster of bogans can be seen gesticulating maniacally at the service desk, an act which is likely to make the subsequent flight 45 minutes late. The bogans’ flat nasal yowl reverberates across the departure lounge, prompting other bogans to begin howling like a neighbourhood of cross-eyed dogs while the bogan children replenish their tear ducts with 500ml energy drinks. Due to incidents such as this, the Bali to Brisbane Jetstar flight on Sunday afternoons has come to be known as the “bogan bus”.

Secondly, the bogan has saved TWENTY SEVEN DOLLARS on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney at dinner time this Saturday, flying Tiger instead of Qantas at 9am Wednesday. Let’s break it down, shall we?