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Flying school - grubby little trick

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Flying school - grubby little trick

Old 30th Jun 2012, 02:23
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Flying school - grubby little trick

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 else heard of similar underhand dealings?
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 02:41
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Time passes and third attempt made to schedule said TIF.
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.

Tiger.
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 02:54
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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.
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 03:37
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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!!!

Last edited by quinnyfly; 30th Jun 2012 at 03:39.
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 03:41
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"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.

Tiger. "

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.

Last edited by spinex; 30th Jun 2012 at 03:43.
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 04:01
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One door closes....

If this true this is a prime opportunity for any flying school in the same area to offer to honour the certificate and at least partially redeem the industry. Come on guys, who is up for it?
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 04:47
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Having read this I have to take the side of the school or club.

We are hearing a one-sided, 2nd hand version of events. I am sure there will be more to it than we have been reading.

I am equally sure any school would be keen to portray the 'right' image and chase the business. That is their game, their bread and butter.

So we have an expired certificate and the school supposedly refusing to honour it after expiry date...
Well maybe, who knows ?

Sounds like half a story to me.. at this stage at least.
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 04:55
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If it was paid for by credit crd, contact the bank and dispute the amount as the product was never received.
Then it's up o the merchant to chase ou for the money. They won't.
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 05:25
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.


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...




.
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 05:35
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What RENURPP said first up and if that doesn't work try the Queensland Office of Fair Trading,they have very sharp teeth.
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 06:02
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That school must really dislike the prospect of tens of thousands of dollars in additional revenue.
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 07:03
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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.

A little deceptive, but food for thought!
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 07:50
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un-airworthy TigerMoth
I thought all TigerMoths were un-airworthy. Its just the owners sheer willpower that keeps them in the air...





.
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 08:21
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North or south of the river? I guess neither would really surprise me...
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 08:30
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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
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 08:42
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Life of Gift Vouchers

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.
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 08:51
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Old fella,

you're pretty brave if you think having an untold number of gift vouchers out there is good. Sounds more like a liability to me.

Our gift vouchers all have a 12-month expiry. If the prospect is keen, they will use it within 2 months.

Otherwise, it is a novelty gift with a <10% chance of turning into a student.

If someone comes to me with a gift certificate up to 2 years old, yeah we'll usually honour it but then, we're great guys and country flying instructors like you.

That school must really dislike the prospect of tens of thousands of dollars in additional revenue.
Assuming for a minute that a school makes $100 profit per hour of flight training, that's $4000 profit per PPL that goes through to completion.

I would be surprised if many flying schools are making profits like that, I know we certainly aren't!
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 09:50
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Agree with you HL, except I'd reckon on a nett profit of $30-40/hr at best..... depends on your accounting method.

Yes, gift certificate flights have a very poor conversion to a student pilot - <10% I'd say.

happy days,
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 11:28
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Some light reading on gift vouchers.

http://eprints.usq.edu.au/6330/5/Jon...LJJ_213_AV.pdf
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 13:19
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Gift vouchers for TIF's are usually sold as an hour of flight time rather than a dollar value. If they don't expire and some chap waits 5 years to use it, it will likely cost to company more than what was paid to make the flight.
Given they have waited so long to use it there is not a high likelihood they will return for further training anyway.

In the instance that started this thread we wouldn't enforce the expiration date that strictly.

this is a prime opportunity for any flying school in the same area to offer to honour the certificate and at least partially redeem the industry.
Flying-spike where do you work?? I want to come get $300 worth for free if that's how you operate.

Last edited by NIK320; 30th Jun 2012 at 13:26.
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