Thursday, 15 January 2009

A rant about Ryanair

Now this is off-topic but you'll have to indulge me as I'm still not doing much food-buying or cooking. But I have been trying to book a trip to France online and need to have a moan about Ryanair.

If you look at their site a flashing sign will tell you they're offering 1 million seats for £1 one way (until Sunday night). "That sounds a good deal" you might think (although you are probably already sceptical if you've endured the pain of booking with Ryanair before). So it's going to cost £4 for the two of us, right?

Er, not quite. The key phrase is 'one way'. That seems to mean whatever flight you chose one leg will cost £1 and the other will include taxes and fees. Which amounts, in the case of our flight from Bristol to Beziers, to a princely £64.06 - £52.08 unspecified taxes and £11.98 insurance, wheelchair levy and aviation insurance. This is new. Normally the total taxes are about £30 to £40 on this flight so how come it's more than this one way? And I would have thought Ryanair would cover its own insurance costs. Most businesses do.

On top of that if you want to check in a suitcase Ryanair will now charge you £30 a person, an additional £8 if you want priority boarding and £11.57 for more insurance (yours rather than Ryanair's this time). Fortunately we can opt out of all these but still need to pay the outrageous £10 per person they charge for using your credit or debit card (we haven't got the one card that exempts you from the charges, a Visa Electron). Total bill £88.04

I don't so much object that Ryanair is charging us £44 each to take us to France which is after all cheaper than going from Bristol to London but their disingenuousness in pretending that it will cost a couple of quid. And for penalising not people like us who are lucky enough to have family over there but families who are spending their hard earned cash on a holiday and having to pay all these extra charges.

The problem is the 'extras' are always changing. Subtly the fares creep up without any fanfare yet still these incredible offers are splashed all over the papers. Does Trading Standards have anything to say about this? Apparently not.

7 comments:

notSupermum said...

I totally agree Fiona, it's very misleading. There are often adverts offering a week at a certain family holiday park for £7.50 a week, but it's impossible to try and get one - I know because I have tried.

Fiona Beckett said...

I'm sure all these companies are absolutely within the letter of the law, notsupermum, but it's the cynicism of the whole approach that gets me!

Signe said...

Indeed, Ryanair's within the law, but their advertising strategy is pretty suspect. Booked flight with them for March and they charge - wait for it - £60 to bring my skis (am doing a cross-country ski marathon), other airlines charge much less (SAS doesn't charge anything but that's because all Scandinavians ski) but it would have worked out much more expensive to fly an alternative airline to a different airport. Very frustrating...you think they'd be making an effort to hold on to customers in such precarious economic times!

Fiona Beckett said...

I would have thought a more open approach, staring what the fare actually cost would have worked equally well - after all, even with all the extras added in, their fares are hugely competitive and they fly to many more convenient destinations than other carriers. But, judging by their success while others flounder, looks like they're right and I'm wrong. We all still carry on flying with them even though they drive us nuts!

TakeEurostarInstead said...

I don't think it's true to say "we all still carry on flying with them". I do my very best to avoid flying with them, partly because of what you have described and partly because I've heard some real horror stories from people I know who have flown with them. I think the best you can say of them is that there are some destinations they fly to that no one else does.

Fiona Beckett said...

Good for you TakeEurostarInstead. (Not that there haven't been a few Eurostar horror stories too but undoubtedly a much more civilised way to travel)

Cuffmasters said...

You would probably have a wry smile when you read about Michael O'Leary plans to charge for the use of toilets on his flights...

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