As I write this post I’m trying to figure out which “category” I file this under. It just occurred to me that it’s probably time for a “dumba$$” category on the side of the blog, and I’m pretty sure a special website belongs there.
For a couple of years now it has been possible to drop the fuel surcharges on many international tickets by adding a segment (typically to Canada) to the end of the itinerary. I have to admit I never took advantage of it, as the thought of an international longhaul flight in coach is terrifying, but nonetheless it was quite useful for many. Hell, there’s even a thread on FlyerTalk discussing the topic with nearly 5,000 posts. This technique could often take hundreds of dollars off of flights.
While this was by no means secret, FlyerTalkers did a good job of “beating around the bush.” Frankly I’m amazed it lasted as long as it did. How the hell did the airlines not catch on for several years?
And then, just like that, it disappeared. For some reason I can’t quite figure out, airfarewatchdog.com thought it would be a good idea to publish an article outlining exactly how the fuel dumping process works. Brilliant, right? Well, hours after the article was posted, fuel dumping was no more.
On one hand there are all kinds of nasty names I’d like to call AirFareWatchdog, and I’m not alone. Look at the comments on the article, directed towards them on Twitter, and on their Facebook page. It ain’t pretty, and they’re beyond dumb for posting an article outlining this. At the same time, how the hell did it take the airlines two years to figure this out? Frankly, I thought they just had no way of preventing this, but the fact that they pulled it hours after the article was published suggests that’s not the case. Are they really that oblivious?
Either way, AirFareWatchdog, shame on you…