Brewer's Droop #208

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I once read somewhere that “a bargain is something you don’t need, at a price you can’t resist” which, cynical as that may be, is actually quite close to the truth.

At least, that’s what the advertising industry believes which is why that thing called the “special offer” is so popular these days.

But what exactly does an advertiser expect to get in return for his Special Offer? Presumably more sales and hopefully more profit.

So it strikes me as odd when SAA tells me they have a “special offer on an airfare to Lagos”.

Didn’t anyone stop and think about what the consumer wants before they started slashing the fares? I mean, I honestly cannot visualise a bloke seeing that message and being so excited that he phones his wife immediately and says “Betty, I’m taking you to Nigeria for our anniversary, it’ll be so romantic”.

On the other hand, there will be a lot of businessmen who will probably be very pleased. But here’s the thing, if a man (or woman) has to go to Lagos then, believe me, he HAS to go to Lagos because he can’t back out of it. It’s NOT an impulse purchase and it’s not optional.

So why lower the fare?

It’s a completely different thing when P&O send you a promotional letter saying they have some reduced price cruises around the Caribbean. Now that’ll definitely put a bounce in Betty’s bikini.

British Airways have got the right idea. Now that SAA doesn’t fly between Cape Town and London anymore BA have actually increased their prices on that route. They won’t be making Special Offers any time soon, you can count on it. That’s the spirit lads – put the boot in and make all Capetonians suffer.

What other options do travellers have? Well, they could fly SAA via Johannesburg (making it a 19 hour journey instead of 12) or they could fly via Dubai (20 hours). Yes, I can just see the British Airways Operations Team saying “I reckon we can squeeze another R2k on that route boys.”

What SAA did by pulling all international flights out of Cape Town was a national disgrace and the financial impact on the area, if not the whole country, is still yet to be felt (because it’s axiomatic that a large number of tourists will go somewhere else).

On the bright side, the Gupta family could start a flight between Ysterplaat Military Airport and RAF Brize Norton I’m sure. It would be a great trip. Hostesses in saris and curried eggs all the way. And think of all the politicians and diplomats you’d rub shoulders with.


Between 2010 and 2011 smoking in the UK for 11-15 yr olds increased by 31.8%. Banning tobacco ads didn’t work with that age group then? And I doubt they’ve worked here either. Massive ERROR! But, I know! Let’s ban alcohol advertising too. Pretty soon we’ll have hundreds of thousands of smoking and boozing 11 year olds.

Winter’s almost here so find a way to keep warm – preferably someone hot.


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  1. Lagos is a lovely place to visit and you can make serious cash on the side with nice friendly businessmen!

  2. … and “my cellphone” won a fortune there the other day!

  3. Love it! A light read, yet informative and funny at the same time! And when you think about it, it really should be Marketing101 or Sales101, thinking about what consumers want before running around slashing prices.

  4. Hey Chris you got it wrong a flight via Dubai is 9 months…
    I’ll opt for Gupta airways.

    • Ha Ha Ha. I should have thought of that.

  5. Chris- SAA is a complete basket case company. I know of at least six British companies that have pulled out of holding massive conferences in Cape Town this year simply because of the hassle of changing at Johannesburg. The IATA (International Air Transport Association) conference IS in Cape Town next week – and SAA is the sponsor airline. So EVERY airline in the world will be attending after wasting four hours changing flights at Jo’burg to bear witness to the laughing stock that SAA has become.

    • A comedian couldn’t write a better script.

  6. Perhaps they could make international flights to Cape Town seasonal, I mean, all that tourist money!

    • Yeah right. Problem is they sold their landing spot at Heathrow. So, no, thats NOT going to happen. (Anyway, the ANC wouldn’t allow it).

      • Meanwhile BA still can’t believe their luck. Imagine being handed all that business on a plate – for absolutely nothing!

        • Was that not perhaps SAA’s “Special Offer” to the international airline industry…………?

  7. Come on, be honest! Some hot-shot fool who earns more than he should, decided that up into Africa is the new fad, especially since it supports AA citizens of both countries.
    With the lowdown that Nigeria and SA were going to compete on the same playing field, SAA thought it should climb in fast.
    What the hot-shot didn’t take into account, is that they can’t fill the damn aircraft.
    So that’s why Zuma invited Goodluck down here on holiday, to rub his head for good luck.

    • Nothing wrong with going into Africa – but to simply give up a super-prime route to one of the world’s biggest favourite dream destinations amongst tourists is just insanity.

      Absolute insanity.

      The sooner SAA is sold (I still reckon it’ll be within two years) the better it’ll be for South Africa.

      • Hear hear and amen to that :)


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