As I didn’t know how many would actually The group booking was set to 15 people under the impression that, per my reading of the contract, the price wouldn’t change (as pricing was based on availability and the flight seating was pretty much wide open). I figured it was time to spread word. I asked a few local friends to help spread the word and then proceeded to post about this online, taking an old art piece I did a couple years back, which has since become the mascot for FurFlight.
Within several days we got upwards of 70 furries interested. However, there was a slight caveat in that something seemed off about the pricing. The furs who spread the word assumed that the per-person price was fixed at $315, and that it’ll go down if we add more people, eventually being borderline free if we fill the plane. Given that the average furry looks for a discount at anything that isn’t art or party, it’s little wonder we got a huge influx of interested parties in the specially-made chat group. Something didn’t seem right, and a firend of mine looked at the payments and also found a mismatch.
We called Virgin individually and found out the misconception was indeed right – the price would increase drastically – up to $600 a person – the more seats we took, not the opposite. Which, in hindsight makes sense given how airline pricing works, but this misunderstanding can make it look like the Airline screwed us over. The discussion of the group turned into something out of Lord of the Flies with many people suggesting alternatives, like chartering our own plane (too expensive), to buying our own tickets at the same time (which would be impossible due to the aforementioned link).
One fur took it upon himself to do a group inquiry on Southwest (which I avoided due to being in Midway, and going on a what’s effectively a flying bus wouldn’t be anything special), and suggesting we all Uber to the Convention. He rallied up for everyone and begged me to let him take over. I had to tell him not to step in while a couple friends and I were deciding what to do, and for him to keep quiet or do his own thing separately.
Not wanting to lose control and have an ambitious idea collapse by furry committee, I refunded those who paid the deposit and cancelled the initial quote. Using the fare buckets system, I would wait over the weekend of June 10 for the inventory to reset. Ideally, we could book for 50 passengers and get something close to original price.
We did lose a significant amount of interested folks, down to about half, and the scramble after the price mishap didn’t look good for first impressions, and I was concerned that it’d be hard to recover from this. Hopefully, the rebooking would go smoothly.