And we wonder why people don't bother to take up flying.
Had a story told to me yesterday about a Brissie based flying school and the gift of a TIF. As told; worthy girlfriend purchases a gift certificate for a TIF. Great excitement and a flight is duly booked. School calls on the appointed day, "uh sorry, we don't have an instructor available, will have to reschedule". New date duly made, however as happens in this game, the wx intervenes and the flight is once again postponed.
Time passes and third attempt made to schedule said TIF. Response from school, "uh sorry, that certificate has now expired, however we're happy to take more of your money and try again"
to the PPL holder who immediately jumped in and offered a scenic around the islands by way of compensation.
Admittedly I haven't seen the certificate and taken stat decs from the dramatis personae, but there is a distinct wiff of offal in the breeze.
Anyone with an ounce of business sense would extend the gift certificate for the specified period from the date the young bloke last attempted to use it. After all, they are a customer gained (even if only for one flight); you'd have to be an idiot to throw that away.
I agree 'Trojan' I believe the said Co are fools for letting even a slight chance that someone having a TIF might continue on.I mean sheeeez it's not as if we are talking about a thousands of $$$ here!
Some years ago now I gave a TIF cert to a GF's son whom had always showed an interest in flying but was not confident in pretty much anything he did. I thought this might be a way to at least build some confidence in him & even mentioned this to the flying school so they had a heads up that he might be as never as a cat on a hot tin roof. He never went thru with it, just couldn't manage the courage which is fair enuf his decision but the crux of the story was when I mentioned that he didn't want to go thru with it a few months latter& asked whether I might extend the TIF to another person whom I believed might even take up flying they said no that was not an option. Well some time latter that same guy did start learning to fly but not at the said Co. Carma I reckon !
One would naturaly think in the current economic environment any business would pull out all the stops to gain new customers, clientele and even prospective student pilots!
Seems many companies are not so interested in honoring an ounce of loyalty these days, rather their focus is about first obtaining your hard earned cash for which the result is all promise and no delivery.
Just as bad is this BS about briefing time and charging for it!!! Sure we need briefings, but much of it can be done in the ACFT. Startup and taxi is another issue worthy of attention, when you work out the hours required for many people from scratch to even GFPT, the time spent on the ground almost equals a third or more compared to that in the air!!!
"How much time? 2 weeks? 10 years? Most gift certificates have expiry dates. If the customer waited that long and let it expire then they can't blame anyone but themselves.
A couple of months I was told - bearing in mind that school had dicked him around on first occasion, 2nd time around the weather stopped play. I'm seeing some of those involved tomorrow and will be getting full details. I'm inclined to suggest that a call to Fair Trade or whatever they call themselves these days may be in order.
Hmmm... i'm with baron_beeza on this. A TIF (Trail Instructional Flight) is the bait that gets the punters in the door. Considering the claim the TIF is already been paid for, seems strange it aint been honored. Suspect more to it...
In defence of the school, many people ring up with 1 day to go for their flight which makes it hard. They also come in 2 years later hoping that it is still valid.
Gift certificates are an interesting beast too.
I knew of a company that once did Joy Flights and sold most of their tickets on-line or over the phone. At least 40% of the gift certificates if not more were never redeemed.
You could park an un-airworthy TigerMoth or similar next to a road, advertise Joy Flights (or Adventure flights or whatever), offer full refunds to those that try to book and over 40% of your purchasers will never show.
Just playing devils advocate here, but two months is at least 8 weekends when the certificate could have been redeemed. Did the holder of the certificate say, "How about next weekend then?", or "how about I hang around and see if the weather improves?". That's the kind of thing a flying school would see as a prospective student. Not someone that rings up a few weeks later on the off chance that they might get to go flying. Considering how many flying schools have closed down in the past few years, the ones that are left are maybe not that desperate for students, I don't know. If you pay for a flight and don't use it, well that's a bonus for the flying school.
That school must really dislike the prospect of tens of thousands of dollars in additional revenue.
Do you really believe a flying school is going to make thousands from someone getting their PPL there? If that was the case, there'd be a lot more flying schools around.
Having bought gift vouchers for people myself, I suspect aviation is no different to any other industry in as far as, most people don't redeem the vouchers. It's easy money for the companies selling the vouchers. And every voucher has its terms and conditions on it. And everyone reads them don't they
Regardless of whether or not it is for a T.I.F. or any other "Gift", I see no justification for having an expiry date for such vouchers. It is pretty simple to word them in a way which clearly states "This voucher may be used toward the cost of a T.I.F." or whatever it relates to. Having an expiry date is shonky at best. Pre-Paid telephone cards are the same. Why should they have an expiry date when they will run out when the credit is exhausted.
Send any prospective students to Taree, we will take care of them in a friendly uncluttered environment.