MSE News: A guide to budget airline chutzpah

MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"How on earth can "paying for the flight" or "checking-in" be deemed added extras?

It's worth taking a moment to admire budget airlines' sheer chutzpah.

While the Budget Airline Fee-Beating guide shows you how to avoid these charges, it's an education looking at how they get away with it...."

Read the full story:


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Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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Replies

  • the non-response from the eu governing body is curious.
    it's quite clear that the rule is being ignored; the wording of the rule is unambiguous. so how far does the eu's patience need to be pushed before it censures and fines?
    perhaps the 'budgets' are taking legal advice that tells them the rule is virtually unenforcable. if this is the case the eu should come clean and tell us.
    meanwhile, the rest of us can only shrug and continue to accept the antics of the 'budgets'.

    mind how you go.
  • thefenmanthefenman Forumite
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    Just a minor point, but the correct spelling is "sleight of hand"!
  • benjusbenjus Forumite
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    I have mixed feelings on this one. While I can understand your point, I'm not sure I agree with it 100%.

    Ryanair's online check-in charge, for example. It is not an extra any more than the tax is an extra - it's added to the flight price alongside the taxes. One of the main complaints against Ryanair seems to be that on one of their screens they still display the price of the flight without taxes and charges. Arguably they do this to make it harder to find the really cheap flights - e.g. when you're searching through a range of dates a flight priced at £0.00 may turn out to be £30 including taxes and charges when you click on it, while a flight priced at £1.00 may be a special offer all-inclusive fare.

    As for the £40 airport check-in charge - Ryanair has decided to become an online-only airline, which is their decision to make as a business. Would it be better if they said "sorry mate, you can't fly" if someone forgets/loses their boarding pass?

    I don't have any objections to them charging for different payment types, and I see no reason why the charge has to be proportional to the amount charged to the airline - last time I looked this was a free market economy where vendors could charge whatever customers would pay for any product or service. To take an example, here are two network cables that will do the same job and produce identical results (this is not my opinion - it is part of the cable specification); one costs 56p and the other costs £427: http://www.kikatek.com/product_info.php?products_id=114211&source=froogle and http://www.digitaldirect.co.uk/denon/ak-dl1.html. Should we ban the sale of the £427 one, or allow consumers to make their own decision?

    I can certainly see an argument for the flight price exclusive of taxes & charges never to be displayed on its own (Easyjet is good in this respect), and for the costs of different payment methods to be displayed up-front (especially with Ryanair, as these costs can be so high). However, there needs to be a headline price, so I think it makes most sense to display the price with the free payment method - although a message saying that the price is only available with this payment method would be welcome.

    It's also worth mentioning that it's not just budget airlines that practise these methods - I've been on plenty of sites for traditional scheduled airlines where an attractive price has quickly turned into a huge amount of money when taxes and charges were added.
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  • richardwrichardw Forumite
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    "It's time for legislative change"
    Absoflaminlutely, but the EU teeth are still in the glass of water on the bedside table on many issues.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • alanrowellalanrowell Forumite
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    it's quite clear that the rule is being ignored; the wording of the rule is unambiguous.
    The rule says is that it must be possible to buy a flight for that price and that all unavoidable costs are included. It is possible to get the headline price Ryanair quotes, so it does fall within the rule
  • richardw wrote: »
    "It's time for legislative change"
    Absoflaminlutely, but the EU teeth are still in the glass of water on the bedside table on many issues.

    Legislation will do nothing but make the fares rise.
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  • richardwrichardw Forumite
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    Legislation will do nothing but make the fares rise.

    So my €1 flight goes up to €5, I think I can live with that.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • richardw wrote: »
    So my €1 flight goes up to €5, I think I can live with that.

    Hardly money saving though, is it?

    Also, do the EU not have much more important things to look at? Air travel is a choice, some would see it as a luxury. Surely priority should be given to things that affect everyone, or those that cannot afford any holiday?
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  • richardwrichardw Forumite
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    dmg24 wrote: »
    do the EU not have much more important things to look at?
    Probably and the chances of that are small aswell.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • ComstockComstock Forumite
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    An interesting piece, Martin. I suppose the question would be, are there any airlines that are more straight up with their pricing?

    Would be worth knowing about the good as well as the bad.
This discussion has been closed.
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