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April 8, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Standby for Expensive Flights

Students’ wings clipped as air nz ends popular scheme

Students have been left grounded, as Air New Zealand has announced the popular standby-flight service it offers will be axed in five weeks.

Standby seats, which typically cost $69 to fly domestically, are a popular way for students to fly home cheaply from university. One angry university student spoken to by Salient summarised Air New Zealand’s decision as being “worse than a slap in the face with a cold fish”.

“I mean, it’s ridiculous: I’m now too poor to afford flights home to see my family and friends as much as I want to. “And what about those people who need to be able to [be] somewhere in short notice but just can’t afford to pay $400? Grabaseat is just plain annoying; I can never click the little button in time,” the student told Salient.

Air New Zealand said the ability to buy standby flights was being axed in order for customers to be “able to purchase confirmed seats at great prices”.

Spokeswoman Marie Hosking said standby flights were not going in an attempt to make more money, as there were “already cheaper flights available than standby ones”.

The company did not comment on how many people used the standby-flight service. Cheap domestic flights throughout New Zealand will continue to be available through grabaseat offers, with some being less than half the cost of a standby ticket.

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