This week we thought we’d start out a little different, rather than our usual hello and long-winded interlude to another episode of A Mind of Its Own, we thought maybe we’d just get straight into it and fire away at the subject that has weighed most heavily on our minds and wallets for the week. Then again if we did that this paragraph would become redundant and you’ve have to hear the writing staff drone on incessantly about how they weren’t given the opportunity to introduce their writing and this weeks stellar topic.
Continuing on with our travel theme we decided to actually take to the skies in an attempt to give our readers a more in-depth look at modern-day travel. In doing so we opened our wallets and let the moths take flight grudgingly. The Amex was swiped, our bags were packed and we took to the closest airport to board a flight bound for the City of Churches. Before we could that though we had to endure a rather hands pat down, explosive wanding and the worst part of all, the part that really got our goat and almost saw the Incredible Hulk make an appearance in the middle of the Gold Coast airport. Well we’ll get to that shortly for now we need to take a breath, relax and let you join us on our journey.
Around the world no matter what continent you are on, or where you may call home. The moment you step foot into the terminal its like you are entering mini city that allow for us to fly from A to B in less time than it would take to drive. A little like the towns that highways haven’t quite bypassed as of yet. Like any city, they have their own economy, their own vibe and most of all their own inhabitants. We are talking about the people who call these places work, not just the pilots and flight crews but the ground staff right through to the ladies and gentleman that man the information desks, shops and kiosks around the airport. Think of them like Santa’s elves if Santa was a multibillion dollar industry oh wait that’s a topic for another day.
Does that include the people trying to get you hooked on wine as you walk from gate to gate you ask? Yes it most certainly does, we call them the naughty elves and they are unfortunately apart of the airport community but really no different to the airport bars. They just soften you up with free samples first before they get you to open your wallet in order to pay for the monthly subscription of wine you’ve drunkenly been talked into before you walk past all their little storefront friends who lure you in for a look while you waste time before your flight boards. The more shops you walk into the more the suggestive the devil on your shoulder becomes reminding you of all the things you forgot to pack or might need on your journey. All the advertising doesn’t help either as it subconsciously erodes away the commonsense walls in your mind.
It’s no wonder that a trip to the airport often starts with a trip to the bank to take out a loan. Mostly for the time spent at the airport on either end of the trip no matter how short or long. So why is it that food and items are so expensive at an airport compared to heading down to your local Coles or Woolies and loading up the trolley?. After our arrival yesterday we were shocked and almost fell off our stool as the barman put down an eagerly awaited cold amber ale in front of us an promptly demanded payment to the sum of $12.50. Now before you ask it wasn’t a pint, it wasn’t a craft beer or an international beer. It was a bloody Great Northern and we found it very un-Australian to be paying an arm and a leg for a beer. Whilst paying that amount for any beer that is of a standard size is still ludicrous most people would be ok with paying it for a craft beer or a beer they may not have tried before maybe.
An Australian Beer at an Australian airport at those prices has us scratching our heads and wondering whether we need to start investing in airport shares in order for the dividends to fund a beer or two while we are there. Now it would be ok if the excessive pricing was kept to just alcoholic beverages however we soon discovered that price hiking expanded across any and everything. Head into the newsagent type store, books take a $3 to $4 dollar increase. Lollies increased by a dollar or two. The surf shops have everything at the recommended retail price not a dollar less. Even heading over to Hungry Jacks for a Whopper will cost you an additional $3 dollars more than it would if you were to head through drive on your way to the airport.
So what makes retailers increases their prices to the maximum chargeable amounts in the market. Some would argue the cost of rent is higher at an airport and others would argue that it’s the cost of staff and the weird hours airports keep. But the plain and simple argument we will make at A Mind of Its Own is simple. Costs of goods at airports are what they are due to supply and demand. They have a product, you want the product and it’s not like you can simply leave to go get it somewhere else unless you are hours early for you flight which lets face it most people are not unless they have nowhere else to go.
What are your alternatives you ask? Either plan ahead or take out small loan if you plan on spending more than an hour while you wait for a flight ensuring you fed and well hydrated. Perhaps stopping off at a shopping centre on the way might be your best bet to cover all your bases and ensure you save yourself a couple of hundred dollars and a trip to the bank before the creditors are on your case about repayments. Or you could just choose to drive if you’re heading interstate and have the time. God knows taxiing on the runway at Kingsford Smith Airport feels like you are driving down to Cronulla in order to get a big enough run up for takeoff.
Whatever your preferred method of travel, the one thing we have learnt this week is that airports are expensive places where supply and demand reigns supreme. If you are thinking about taking a trip, do yourself a favour and plan ahead. Like everything, money makes the world go round and the aviation industry is a multi billion dollar beast that sees you coming from a mile off, not just because the planes are big and rather noisy. So for another week we bid you farewell and hope you have a pleasant week. Please remain seated until the captain has turned off the fasten seat belt and when opening the overhead lockers, please take caution has luggage may have moved during the flight Thank you for choosing to Fly A Mind of Its Own.
P.S Keep your eyes peeled for another sneak peek chapter of Fire for Effect coming your way…