Airlines and their Timey-Wimey Price Variances: What colour paint did you ask for? - Achtung Baby: Bavaria with a GPS & Some Great Canadian Gear (Tour 13) - 2014 🇩🇪 🇦🇹 🇨🇭 - CycleBlaze

February 10, 2014

Airlines and their Timey-Wimey Price Variances: What colour paint did you ask for?

IMAGINE you are sitting in your house over a nice cup of tea, when you suddenly realize that you no longer like the colour of your living room walls. "GOOD HEAVENS!" you exclaim to yourself - or worse yet, to everyone in your room - as you shriek in dismay.

You quickly estimate the square footage of your walls and on your tablet discover that with the price of paint at the local hardware store, it will cost about $230 for ten cans of paint to re-do your lovely living room.

You diligently measure out the room, calculating the wall space, subtracting the windows and doorways, and adding on an amount for all of that decorative trim. The next day, with these exact measurements in hand, you proudly and excitedly head off to the hardware store. YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE THAT ROOM FABULOUS.

Upon arrival, after greeting everyone in the store you head back to the paint section where you plop the colour samples and numbers onto the counter.

"Hmmm," says the paint expert, "Today is Monday, so instead of $23 per can, your paint will be $51." I am stunned, "But when I checked your website yesterday, it said $23."

"But that was a Sunday."

"Well, I will have to think about that," I stammer, then head home scratching my head.

After consultations at home, I return on Tuesday to the paint store and their friendly expert, "I will take that paint for $51." Whereupon, the paint expert goes to the back and brings back ten identical cans of paint. She has a broad smile on her face and tells me, "We only have two cans of $51 paint and the rest are $68 cans."

"But they are all the same and even have the same product code." Now I am baffled.

"Well, we sold all of the other $51 cans. And of course, the price of oil can fluctuate. Would you like to see some of the $79 cans?" she asks. As I ponder this latest, I think about how the price of oil actually fell the last few days; moreover, there is no oil in this can, and how did this paint can change overnight, anyway?

Flabbergasted, I ask for eight cans of $68 paint and two cans of $51 paint. Everyone at home wants this job done, the furniture has been removed and the walls repaired. I have a choice, but I have no choice. Scratching my head, I head home with this "variety" of the same thing.

At least painting and the transformation of the room faded the paint purchase into the back of my mind. Until I got down to the last few ounces of paint when I realized I needed one more can.

Back to the store. I left out the greetings. I marched back to the paint counter. The expert was now absolutely beaming. "Good afternoon, sir. How can I help you?"

"I need one more can of paint."

"Well, sir. We have no more $79 cans but we have all kinds of $94 cans - how many would you like?" She smiled a lot again.

"But what about the $68 cans?"

"Well sir, today is Thursday. Oh, and sir, you will have to pay an excess can fee of $49 because you are over the ten-can limit."

Absolutely sickened, but without a choice I bought the can, paid the fee and went home to complete the job.

The next morning an advertisement in the local paper by the same hardware store showed the same paint for sale... regular price $23 on sale for $19.99. "Limited stock."

*** *** *** ***

Why the paint story? Exactly what happened to me with the tickets for this flight. Just ask the person sitting beside you what they paid for their ticket. I think you will be hard pressed to discover any two prices the same... all for the same "can of paint."

EDIT: I have since learned another reason to remove 'cookies' and empty your computer's cache. Onlines theories abound about airlines 'seeing' you checking their sites for prices. The more you circle around your dates and destinations, I suppose mathematically, the more serious you are about the trip. So up goes the price. Grrrrr!

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