In order to keep the advertised prices low, budget airlines find ways to make up the deficit in other ways. Those of us who travel regularly to and from the UK know the score and which airlines are most guilty.
- Surcharge no 1 – Airport taxes are added on to the cost of the flight by most airlines. These can almost double the original advertised fare.
- Surcharge no 2 – Failure to print out a boarding pass when you book online can lend you a fine at check in.
- Surcharge no 3 – Pre booking your seat to make sure that you sit together add extra per person to the cost of your flight.
- Surcharge no 4 – You have to pay to use a credit card and in some cases a debit card even though these are the only means to pay.
- Surcharge no 5 - Fuel surcharge –I do not understand how they can know how much extra the fuel will cost at the time of booking.
- Surcharge no 6 – If you want to take hold luggage then you are going to have to pay for it. The cost for this has risen dramatically over the last few years.
Let me give you an example of flights that we have booked recently
- Fare: 62.00 Euros
- Spanish Departure Tax: 13.20 Euros
- Spanish Handling Charge: 7.20 Euros
- Fuel Surcharge: 45.36 Euros
- UK Departure Tax: 30.70 Euros
- Passenger Service Charge: 28.54 Euros (I have no idea what that is for)
- Then we need to add on the cost of hold luggage at 19.99 Euros per case each way.
The result is that we started with an advertised price of 62.00 Euros and ended up paying 266.96 Euros. To be fair that is cheap when you consider the distance we will be flying and the cost of alternative ways of travelling. It just doesn’t seem honest to lead you to believe that your flights are going to be cheap.
Of course you can avoid paying for hold luggage by only taking cabin baggage with you but you must read the small print carefully. The size of that cabin luggage is very specific and varies between different airlines. And if it won’t fit in the cage at the airport then you will be forced to pay to have the bag put in the hold.
Ryanair for example, charge £40 for any over sized hand luggage that has to go in the hold at check in and £50 if you manage to get to the gate with it.
The Daily Mail now tells us that Servisair staff at Liverpool John Lennon airport (why did they ever change the name?) are rewarded with £5 for every ten items of Ryanair hand luggage that has to be put in the hold. That may be considered an incentive for them to be more vigilant and not let through any bags that are just a little oversized. The workers might get their 50p but it is Ryanair that benefits most with a whopping £39.50 per bag.