Helicopter travel ‘too cheap’ for tourists
Inhabitants of the outlying islands have long been complaining about the lack of places on helicopters.
Many of the smaller islands rely heavily on helicopter services, but these seats are often booked well in advance by tourists, which can cause significant distraction to the islanders’ daily lives.
A new ticket booking system, introduced on 1 July, sets out to solve this issue, but it has had a mixed reception.
The new system only allows passengers to book helicopter seats one week in advance, compared to one month with the previous system.
According Olga Biskupstø, the head of the Outlying Islands’ Association, this change does make it easier for locals to find a helicopter seat, because with the old system the helicopter was often fully booked a month in advance. She does, however, point out that some helicopter seats ought to be specifically earmarked for inhabitants of the outlying islands.
A frequently discussed solution to the problem of locals and overbooked helicopters is the option of increasing ticket prices for tourists. The initial plan with the new ticket booking system was to charge 50% more from tourists, but eventually it was decided to reduce the ticket price for locals by 50% instead.
This has proved helpful to the locals, says Biskupstø, but she still thinks tourists travel too cheaply by helicopter, considering the limited availability.
The new ticket booking system has its advantages but it could be better, she argues, saying that two separate systems – one for tourists and one for locals – would be a better solution.
Translated by prosa.fo