'Ryanair, time to come clean: The latest rises are a step too far.' blog discussion

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
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This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's “Ryanair, time to come clean: The latest rises are a step too far” blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

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  • mystic_trevmystic_trev Forumite
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    As someone who checks in 'online' and only carries hand baggage, Ryanair just suits me fine!

    As I've mentioned on other threads, I've been using them regulary for 21 years without any problems. My first return flight to Dublin cost £100 in 1987. There can't be many things that have droped in price from 21 years ago !!!!!!!!
  • ...and remember paying for an extra bag doesn't increase your baggage allowance. It's still 15kg combined for however many bags you bring.
  • I'm know this is always about being consumer savvy, but isn't this going a tad too far?
    1. You pay for the flight
    2. You pay for additional taxes and charges… these are split out from the actual cost which includes airport duty and other charges. Though it does sometimes do ‘price including taxes and charges’ destinations.
    3. You pay £3 to check in, unless you only have hand luggage and check in online.
    4. You pay £6 for your first checked-in bag provided you pre-book it or £12 per checked-in bag that you haven’t pre-booked. Take more than one bag and you’ll pay £12 for the second, regardless of how you book.
    5. You pay £3 to pay on a credit card, £1 on a debit card and £1 on a visa electron.

    This is transparency of pricing. It is so simple, anyone can work it out (even my mum books her own flights with Ryanair now!). But here is a suggestion: how about they just put an extra box, say for £30 per person, for those who can't be bothered to go through a few simple options? Is that moneysaving, or laziness?
    Why on earth does it play such silly games? It’s still cheaper overall than other airlines, so why does it have to befuddle and confuse?

    What is MSE about? The key phrase to me is highlighted above!
    The fact that you can’t pay without paying a £1 surcharge means that it’s part of the price, and hence should be included as such.

    This is getting petty now. Has a whole article been written just to argue over £1?! You can take moneysaving too far ...

    I cannot see a simpler system than Ryanair's booking pages. Everything is laid out for you, and if you can't work it out, then I doubt you would even be able to find your way to the airport!

    The article also fails to mention the numerous 1p flights that Ryanair give away, without any fees or taxes being added.

    Surely there are far more important things to be looking into, than why Ryanair don't increase their fares by £1?!!
    Gone ... or have I?
  • peterbakerpeterbaker
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    Well done, Martin :D You noticed :money:

    I wrote what follows on Friday but wasn't sure whether to post it as a new Ryanair thread or to just stew on it without posting it, but now here's what I was thinking last week (and I apologise for hijacking a blog with a bit of a blog of my own :D)

    Last year the Office of Fair Trading made a ruling that Ryanair and other airlines should quote the full price up front if they were to quote any price at all.

    Ryanair in typical fashion more or less have given two fingers to that ruling and continue to tip our travel expectations on their head.

    I can’t easily see a total price for my summer holiday flights now without laboriously inputting my personal data. All I know, is that the price Ryanair are quoting just for bags is suddenly £54 alone (for 3 bags return) and that they have said they will keep putting up the bag price until customers stop checking them in. That’s not a nice thing to do. Massive amounts of UK taxpayers money is expended on maintaining and regulating a model of aviation that upholds national security, keeps us safe and upholds our expectations. Ryanair is constantly rocking that model.

    Let me repeat that Ryanair are heavily subsidised by the British taxpayer. They are permitted to buy as much fuel as they like in UK completely tax free. You have seen on the news recently how much fuel tax normally gets added to the price of a litre of the fuel the rest of us buy. Think how much Ryanair save by being exempt from paying it. That is an enormous tax advantage to be given to a business. Farmers used to be given similar subsidies in return for growing our food and being guardians of the countryside. Growing food and promoting good husbandry of the land were good things to promote last century, and in any event, the farmers’ tractors didn’t gulp down fuel anywhere near as fast as 737s do. Farmers generally behaved as good citizens and when their spokespersons came on tv to make political statements, they were made carefully.

    Yet in the new millennium, despite using all that public money they acquire through tax exemption and through the perks of tax collection, Ryanair are not behaving as good UK citizens when they use pornography in advertisements and then give two fingers when told off about it. They constantly appeal to the natural rebellious trend of younger minds on the street, but less so to the will of the mainstream who weave the real fabric of society by quietly building achievement and providing the foundation of a stable country. Ryanair are so big that they cause real upheaval not just in their industry but in our country. Whatever they do becomes the norm because they control such a large slice of the people moving industry in Europe. I fully accept they have created a large part of their business from thin air. They have caused more people to take up flying regularly than any other airline. But at what cost to UK? They have done it all on the back of massive fuel tax subsidy and they are not even British!

    We have a horrendously awful people trafficking problem now. Half of it is associated with ease of obtaining minimum wage work because so many legitimate “jobs” are now at little above £5.52 per hour and of the type which Ryanair have themselves created, and almost as many illegitimate “jobs” are available at less than the minimum as a result of trafficking and the continual shifting of poorer citizens across the continent in search of happiness with a £ sign attached. Our employment market has been damaged irreparably by this dumbing down that means indigenous UK workers with much higher standards and expectations have been completely priced out purely because they believe in first world health and safety, in equality, and in security in retirement which are all costs that admitted low cost businesses do their best to abdicate to others. The other half of the trafficking problem is associated with the sex-trade, and that makes Ryanair’s pornographic advertising doubly offensive.

    Coupled to this, we have an overwhelming legitimate economic immigration problem overloading our public services meaning that we are reduced to breeding more like animals in the UK than ever before (we must apparently expect a significant number of babies and mothers to die in childbirth because or standards are lower than other civilised countries). Presumably because it has not been fashionable for young people to be “top of the class” for at least the last 20 years then most Brits are conditioned to be happy just not to come bottom when they read country statistics like that. Yet we are also told that 1 in 10 of us are “rich”.

    If that is true, it just doesn’t make sense. It makes our country look a bit like the Boeing 777 did in the last moments before it crashed at Heathrow the other day – lurching from one extreme to another, then smacking down barely under any control but followed by congratulatory hype about how well it was controlled and what a fine outcome it was. I don't much like big businesses which propound myths like that.

    Let’s not kid ourselves that people would move about Europe irrespective of the ease of low cost air travel. Of course they would not do so in anywhere near such large numbers.

    I don’t mind Ryanair being top dog in the European aviation industry, but do object to the way they behave - treating us all like Pavlov’s dogs in order to force rapid change. These changes are not for our own benefit really. Ryanair couldn’t give a toss how much it’s aircraft actually weigh when they take off. They know that their chosen aircraft has some slack designed in to performance, and they don't generally use actual weights in the calculations they do on the flight deck unless the captain is particularly rigorous about measuring actual performance after he has taken off.

    No, Ryanair's corporate whims seem to amount to not much more than to dumb us down to the lowest common European denominator, and then to herd us around like animals to the highest bidding airport/local chamber of commerce like all good compliant directionless unwashed European pax can be made to do if they get a sniff of a promotional fare.

    Please don’t respond to this with the boring “if you don’t like them don’t use them” cliche. I want them to become better, but I do not believe they are always themselves the best judge of how to achieve it. Since Ryanair use so much taxpayers’ money, they periodically need some heavy encouragement/inducement from the UK government I think.

    For example, I am sure it might appeal to Michael O’Leary’s sense of humour if the government (on a whim of course!) removed the fuel tax subsidy overnight to all overseas domiciled operators and impounded all his aircraft until cash was paid for the tax on the fuel in the tanks before taking his fleet elsewhere.

    Easyjet could then be given any slots he no longer wanted and I’d be able to see at an easier glance, how much my summer fares might actually cost!

    Interestingly, Declan Curry, BBC News 24's Business Presenter, just presented his latest interview with Michael O'Leary because their latest profits are 25% down on last year. Michael was suffering from a bit of a cold and looked a bit older and leaner today, but as usual I enjoyed listening to what he had to say, even though as usual I was trying to read between the lines. He was successfully plugging away his lowest fares from Ryanair message as usual, and only referred to "bloody politics" once. He was interestingly being a bit contrary about governmental actions to avoid recession. He thinks the Federal Reserve were too hasty in dropping US interest rates. In Europe anyway, he is now for maintaining interest rates and suffering a bit of recession 'cos it might do us some good (and get oil prices down). He also said something about how despite the increased baggage charges, Ryanair's overall fares were still just as low as before. Not entirely convincing, that. And he chose to say that Ryanair had put up their hand baggage allowance from 7kg to 10kg (that news is as ancient as the pair of jeans he was wearing :rolleyes:) and he said BA's limit was still 7kg (not sure of the relevance of that since BA is not their main competitor, nor why he didn't mention that Easyjet have long had no hand baggage weight limit 'within reason').

    Michael O'Leary talked of tightening our belts and cutting costs further ... a little worrying if it means you catch a cold and start looking a bit frayed and wearing old clothes ... In aviation we need to maintain very high standards especially when the going gets tough.
  • dmg24 wrote: »
    This is getting petty now. Has a whole article been written just to argue over £1?! You can take moneysaving too far ...

    I'm with Martin on this, and think it's more about the principle than the money here.

    Obviously £1 isn't going to cripple anyone, but the point here is that it's compulsory - so why not include it in the original price?

    What if every retailer were do to the same - e.g. a supermarket charging you a 5 pence "checkout fee" on every item you pay for - would you still say it was "petty" to think it should be included in the original price?

    In fact the Consumer Protection Act 1987 specifically says that any unavoidable charges must be included in the total price (the only exception being that B2B traders are allowed to advertise prices without VAT).

    Why should Ryanair think the rules don't apply to them?

    (By the way, I am actually a fan of Ryanair and think they provide a wonderful cheap service, but I just wish they'd stop ducking and diving when it comes to legislation - it's silly and it just antagonises people).
  • peterbaker wrote: »
    Let me repeat that Ryanair are heavily subsidised by the British taxpayer. They are permitted to buy as much fuel as they like in UK completely tax free. You have seen on the news recently how much fuel tax normally gets added to the price of a litre of the fuel the rest of us buy. Think how much Ryanair save by being exempt from paying it. That is an enormous tax advantage to be given to a business.

    But you have to look at this in context - it's not just Ryanair that don't pay fuel tax - it's all airlines. And it's not just in the UK where aviation fuel is tax-free - it's worldwide.

    I agree, it stinks to high heaven that motorists pay phenomenal fuel duty while airlines don't pay a penny, but the reasons for this are more practical than political. It would be impossible to introduce a worldwide tax on aviation fuel as you'd never get every government in the world to sign up, and therefore if the UK were to suddenly introduce a fuel duty, all airlines would simply fill their tanks abroad!

    That's why Brown dreamed up Air Passenger Duty instead - because it's unavoidable.
  • Paul_HerringPaul_Herring Forumite
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    Martin wrote:
    5. You pay £3 to pay on a credit card, £1 on a debit card and £1 on a visa electron.
    What about cash?

    (As in the piggy bank you just emptied of coppers especially for the occasion?)
    Conjugating the verb 'to be":
    -o I am humble -o You are attention seeking -o She is Nadine Dorries
  • mystic_trevmystic_trev Forumite
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    taxiphil wrote: »
    But you have to look at this in context - it's not just Ryanair that don't pay fuel tax - it's all airlines. And it's not just in the UK where aviation fuel is tax-free - it's worldwide.

    I agree, it stinks to high heaven that motorists pay phenomenal fuel duty while airlines don't pay a penny, but the reasons for this are more practical than political. It would be impossible to introduce a worldwide tax on aviation fuel as you'd never get every government in the world to sign up, and therefore if the UK were to suddenly introduce a fuel duty, all airlines would simply fill their tanks abroad!

    That's why Brown dreamed up Air Passenger Duty instead - because it's unavoidable.

    Nicely put. The trouble with Peterbaker's diatribes, is that they make little sense. I couldn't be bothered to read the whole of it, I only got as far as him accusing Ryanair of 'People trafficking' :rotfl:
  • bikagabikaga Forumite
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    What annoys me is that we're really not talking about £1. We're talking about £4 for a return flight for 2 people or £8 for a family with 2 kids, even though there's just one transfer. This is really not necessary - if it's a processing fee it should be made per transfer, not per flight per person.

    Also I think it's more than dodgy that the price is changed after selecting the payment method ABOVE the field where you select the method, so if you've already scrolled down further than where the price is displayed you'll get these charges as a nice little extra surprise after you've confirmed the booking - and they can be much higher for credit cards than for debit cards or electron.

    I was also quite annoyed at how they automatically selected the priority boarding (and of course insurance which is now apparently £9 for a return flight). Sure, all of these can be foreseen and read about (*add usual blah blah of people who will tell you that if you're stupid enough not to double-check everything it's your own fault*), but I'm just generally unimpressed with the little extra-ways of getting money. I've been using Ryanair for 7 years now, and if I didn't happen to have to go to an airport in the middle of nowhere this time I would've happily paid the difference to BA (not actually that much anymore, after taxes, debit card fee and luggage are taken into account) :(
  • alaredalared Forumite
    4K Posts
    Ryanair`s booking process gives you choice and a complete break down of cost as you go through the proceedure.
    I can`t see what could be fairer or more transparent than that.

    You select your flight,it then gives you the price and a break down of the taxes and security charges.
    You then get the choice to take baggage or just hand luggage and what the cost is.
    If you decide just to take hand luggage,you are then given the choice to check-in online for free or pay to check-in at the airport.
    You are given the choice to buy travel insurance and if you refuse it advises you to make sure you have adaquate cover.
    So far you know exactly what you are paying for at each step of the booking process.

    Then when you finally come to pay for your ticket,yet again you are given the choice of a higher or lower debit/credit card fee.

    When you have gone all the way through the booking process and you`ve read their T&C`s and AGREED to them, and you know the PRECISE cost,only then will Ryanair allow you to purchase your ticket.

    Maybe I`m missing something but it seems you get choice,choice and yet more choice and a clear indication of cost at each stage of the booking.
    You couldn`t find anything simpler or easier to do, but then time after time, on these boards, we get moans about getting ripped off by Ryanair.
    These people obviously DON`T read the T&C`s,they make an a*rse of their booking by putting the wrong name down,etc.,etc.,yet it`s all Michael O`Leary`s fault.

    The man has done the country a favour and if it wasn`t for him you wouldn`t be flying to Spain for £20.
    BA, would and have done in the past, rip you off for more like £120
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