I'm beginning to wonder whether there's such a thing as honest advertising. A while back we had Kulula claiming that the reason they were excluding airport taxes from their headline prices was to point out the exhorbitant fees which ACSA are charging (conveniently, this also makes Kulula's flight prices look lower than they actually are).
Now, today we received an email advert from Mango airlines encouraging us to "fly Mango for less than R90". On seeing this we excitedly started to try and find return flights from Cape Town to Johannesburg. We found a return flight, where the outbound leg was R87 (and the return leg R549), so decided to just book the outbound leg...when trying to book the outbound leg alone the price suddenly hopped up to R549. So much for flying Mango for less than R90.
My first impression in reading this Mango special was that I'd be able to get on a Mango flight for less than R90 (which
I cant). Mango's advert is deceptive. Mango will argue that if you look in the fine print at the bottom of the page it says that "...tickets must be purchased as part of a return journey". Of course by the time (if ever) you get to reading the small-print at the bottom of the page, the impression has wholly been created that you'll be getting a flight for less than R90 - that's black-hat marketing for you, creating the illusion of something better than you can actually obtain.
Mango advertised it as a happy hour. Traditionally happy hours are two for the price of one. Mango's tactics are like the bar's owner telling you he'll charge you R87 for a drink...but when you get to the bar you find out that you have to buy two drinks and the second one will cost you R549. Never mind happy hour, this is the type of thing which causes free-for-all-bar-fights to break out.
The reasons we try and avoid Mango is not because of the price which is usually competitive. There was therefore no need for Mango to try and create the illusion that their prices are lower than they actually are, and thereby lose credibility. This was all so unnecessary.
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