* No, not for you, sorry if you got that impression.
The Hörzu, one of Germany’s biggest TV magazines, invites its subscribers (including myself – but for how long?1) to a VIP gala – with entertainment, live music, dance and midnight buffet –, combined with a one-week “exclusive VIP vacation” to the Turkish Riviera.
“And to this, we invite you at selected dates exclusively and for free!”
(My translation of a highlighted sentence.) In addition, there’s this printed note sheet in the top right corner, saying: “All free**: return flight, transfers, 5***** hotel, excursion program, breakfast buffet – **valid for seleced airports of departure and dates” (which actually is better readable in print than on this scan – cf. large view).
Now which dates are these, and how much are the others? What does the large table in the flyer tell? At least, the additional costs are given clearly enough, I think…
There are 22 available airports – among these only 2 minor ones in Rostock and Saarbrücken are free, the others require a 19-26€ surcharge. There’s a total of 255 dates in six different season categories from November 2008 to April 2009, only one of which – vacation start 8-19 Dec and 31 Dec–14 Jan – without surcharge, 40-145€ for the others. And during school holidays (depending on location), there’s another 50€ surcharge.
So the trip can cost between 0 and 221€, depending on the date.2 I quickly compared that to offers from some larger travel companies, and the cheapest ones I found were around 350€ for that region – so even in the most expensive case, this doesn’t seem to be a bad offer. (If someone disagrees and knows cheaper prices, please comment.)
17 dates from Rostock or Saarbrücken outside of school holidays;
33 dates in the surcharge-free seasons;
Intersection: 3 all-free dates.
But also just 6 dates for more than 200€.
In the end, I think that only 3 dates that are really free – that’s 1.2% – are still a little poor to be pointed out that prominently – but, well, that’s advertising…
- I’m using it less and less (thanks to electronic program guides), and the occasional mysticism friendliness (in May the afterlife pseudophysics article, currently a too uncritical miracle healing series, more on that in the upcoming days) rankles me too. [↩]
- Plus optional costs for single rooms (98€) and half-board instead of only breakfast (99€), but these always cost extra, of course. [↩]
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