Oo-er. This really surprised me.
According to new research, more than one third of parents have lied about their children’s age to get discounted tickets for travel, entertainment or events.
And get this – a poll of 1,500 mums and dads also found one in 10 have trained their kids to lie about their age if questioned - even practising lines in advance.
Other tactics include hiding their little ones from ticket inspectors, asking them to feign sleep to avoid questioning, and telling them to affect a younger sounding voice.
One tenth of the population claim they’ve gone to “extreme” lengths to get reduced fares for their families.
And more than a quarter believe it’s completely acceptable to try and make their child look younger to get discounts on tickets of entry to events.
On average, parents who are happy to be fast and loose with the truth have fibbed about their children four times to save money.
Dads are more likely than mums to encourage underhand behaviour to save cash.
Those in the North-East were found to be the most honest when it comes to fibbing to save money, while parents living in Yorkshire and the Humber were most likely to try and get away with a scam.
Young parents aged 18-24 are more than twice as likely to try and bend the rules for cheaper tickets than those aged 55 or older.
The research was commissioned by Heathrow Express, who partnered with Scottish comedy duo The Krankies to launch the campaign. Together they created a video that saw Wee Jimmy Krankie go undercover to try and blag a free ticket on the Heathrow Express.
Ian Tough, star of the Krankies, said:
“We’ve loved bringing back Janette’s character to see if the Oldest Kid in Town can even try to pull off what so many parents continue to do across the country. Thanks to Heathrow Express and their free tickets for children 15 and under, we were able to just about pull it off.”
Fraser Brown, director at Heathrow Express, added:
“It’s been a lot of fun working with the Krankies to see if they can still pull off the legendary Wee Jimmy Krankie character. For those travelling on the Heathrow Express with children, there is no need to tell any fibs because all children aged 15 and under get free tickets. You can also get your tickets for a cheaper fare too if you book in advance – head to the website today to book.”
Funny as the campaign is, I don't mind admitting I was gobsmacked to read about parents actively encouraging their kids to fib in order to get a discount. Doesn't that eventally backfire, in so far as you kid learns to think it's ok to lie when it suits them?
We'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Would you encourage your child to tell a lie if it meant paying less for something? Leave us a comment here or come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page.
You can watch the video featuring The Krankies here.