£1 return flights to Los Angeles? Of course not, Flight Centre

9 March 2011

£304 is a brilliant price for a return flight from the UK to Los Angeles, especially at this time of year when the end of the winter season is within sight. With nearly any other airline, you're always likely to pay over £400, even during sale periods.

With this in mind, there's something very unnecessary about how Flight Centre are promoting its flash sale:


Since there's no way a passenger can avoid paying the taxes, why bother advertising seats at £1? The ad contradicts itself before you've finished reading it. It's the advertising equivalent of cutting off your nose to spite your face - muddying the waters of an already strong offer with a meaningless, flimsy gimmick.

Must try harder, Flight Centre. Or perhaps, stop trying so hard.

TOPICS:   Travel


  • Flight U.
    Enjoyed reading your post Bitter Wallet. We agree with you it is a great airfare, almost the cheapest it could possibly be. The flashsale clearly states the airfare is £1 plus taxes and we include in the banner (as shown above) that this equates to £304 total return - there are no hidden charges here. As you rightly state there is no way the taxes can avoid being paid so we have lowered the actual airfare as much as we possibly can and thought the £1 flashsale was a catchy angle to promote it at. It certainly got your attention. There are currently 79 seats left – there is still time to secure yours ;)
  • PokeHerPete
    Isn't there a law coming to prevent airlines doing this?
  • Michael O.
    It is not a £1 flashsale, it is a £304 flash sale. For only 100 people too. You may say this on the ad, yet the largest figure is the £1.
  • Alan
    Its actually not much of a deal - proven by the fact that they have only sold 21 tickets in just under 5 hours.
  • Alan
    Meant to add that I have always found the Flight Centre to be more expensive than anywhere else
  • Paul
    LOLZ , this is life imitating art - have the Flight Centre been watching Walliams and Lucas on "Come Fly With Me" ?
  • Tom
    LOL, well played Flight Centre.
  • Spoddy
    Yeah, never found the flight centre to be cheap, so never bought a ticket from them.
  • Michael O.
    Looks like Flight Centre have explained themselves rather well....
  • Alexis
    NEW KIA C'EED FLASH SALE! £1* *including glove box, but excluding chassis, wheels and engine. Total price: £10,989
  • Mark
    Good response FlightCentre. You did a catchy ad, end of story. Not a lot of 'story' mileage for BW left in this one.
  • TimB
    I for one am quite impressed. BW and Flight Centre may know that these tax's can't be avoided, but the average punter may not, and would see a £1 flight as...well, a £1 flight. It's a welcome change to see the 'small print' clearly displayed on the ad itself, rather than misleading you into clicking and telling you in some hidden T&Cs somewhere, so you don't know about the extra fees until you get to the checkout, which will inevitably be after you've called all your mates and said "keep friday free, we're going to LA - a tenner flights for all of us!"
  • steve b.
    I'm with BW on this one, but then, I'm a sycophantic cunt. It should be full price advertised. End of story. Most airlines offer cheapest fares which are not much more than this - check the breakdown next time you book a cheapy - but still only display the total including taxes. This is like going to the till at a supermarket and then being told it's 20% VAT on top of the shelf price and them saying "ooh, but it made you look!"
  • Another A.
    Would it not have been better not to name the company in question? Bitterwallet do an awful lot of critiquing of viral advertising but just end up spreading it farther.
  • Kevin
    However much it is nice to have some honest bits on adverts it is still a bullshit advert. Put '£303 instead of whatever it normally costs' as be honest we don't know how much a flight to LA is normally, or indeed how much of our holiday is tax. If you show how much of a bargain it is that would be fairer. Although I agree, I've looked at Flight Centre and cheapest it is not.
  • I B.
    [...] ‘taxes’ part of the ‘fees,taxes and charges’ added on by airlines when trying to book their £1 flights to Los Angeles is only a very small proportion- can you really see the bucket airlines passing the whole saving [...]

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