Misquoted By The New Paper

Relax – An inconvenient fee: “Another frequent budget airline traveller, Mr Bradley Farless, 28, a US citizen who is visiting Asia for work and leisure, had bought a pair of tickets from Tiger Airways for a flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur earlier this month.

He said: “It is not a small amount when you add it all up. And who is stopping them from increasing this amount in the future?””

When I read this I kinda just pulled one of these numbers:

Last month I was interviewed by phone by Veena Bharwani, a reporter for The New Paper.  She had initially contacted me by e-mail because of a Tweet I made expressing dissatisfaction with the amount being charged as a ‘convenience fee’ by Tiger Airways.

I have no problem with what she quoted me as saying.  I just wanted to point out that journalists should be bound by a sense of integrity, to not put quotation marks around a summarization of the writer’s views and then attribute it to another person.

Yes, I do agree that the fees are high when you add them up.  We paid a 6 dollar convenience fee per person per direction, or 24 dollars in total.  But, I didn’t use those exact words.

I never made the second statement, even passingly.  That’s the writer trying to attribute a quote to me to validate her own opinion.  It’s not even correct English.

I do agree with her assessment, because what is to stop them from raising the fees in the future, on the vague grounds of processing fees and some other such nonsense?  I want to just use Amazon.com as an example.  When’s the last time you made a purchase on Amazon.com and had a 6 dollar fee added onto your purchase for ‘convenience’?

The convenience of shopping online is that there are supposed to be less fees and less hassle.  It seems to me that these fees the airlines are charging are their way of milking customers for a few extra dollars to help them edge their bottom line higher into profits.

Here’s the fishiest part of it:  If you go to a ticketing office you can get tickets without paying the convenience fee, but you aren’t allowed to take advantage of online ‘deals’, meaning you pay more.  But, if you go online to get the ‘deal’ you have to add in the ‘convenience’ fee, which means that you’re probably paying the same as what a person at the ticket counter is paying.

In the end, what’s the difference?

But, back to the matter at hand, it would be good if people who make a living off of journalism learn to do it right.  Learn the art of paraphrasing.  Don’t put words in people’s mouths, even if it’s something positive.