Ryanair’s new fees: £1 for your ticket, £5 for your sandwich – £100 for your bag
The cost of flying with Ryanair will rise in 2012, as they struggle to continue making money out of cheap flights. A unchecked bag could cost £100, with £25 for one checked. (Compared to the much- whinged-about APD at a bargain £13). Ryanair’s cabin baggage limits are also tight on weight and passengers who breach the size or weight are fined £40. Ryanair is now more expensive than easyJet or BA on some flights.
The no-frills airline will be increasing some of its charges by up to 150 per cent next summer
by Simon Calder
Passengers planning to fly Ryanair next summer, beware: charges on Europe’s biggest budget airline will soar in 2012. Checked-in bag fees paid in advance increase by two-thirds, while travellers checking in a bag at the airport without booking ahead face a fee of £100 – up 150 per cent.
The airline has divided 2012 into low and high seasons, with the latter stretching across the summer from June to September, as well as Christmas. In peak season, the cost of checking in a single 15kg bag rises from £15 to £25, totalling £200 for a family of four on a return trip. The price for a second bag will be even higher, at £45.
Ryanair claims such fees are intended to change passenger behaviour in order to keep costs – and therefore fares – low. Stephen McNamara, a spokesman for the airline, said “Over 70 per cent of Ryanair passengers will be unaffected by these changes as they already travel with no checked-in bags.”
But Ryanair’s cabin-baggage rules are less generous than its rivals. The maximum volume is 44 litres, compared with the industry standard of 63 litres, as used by easyJet and British Airways. BA also allows a laptop or handbag up to 32 litres. The weight limit for Ryanair is 10kg; for BA, 23kg; and for easyJet there is no maximum. Ryanair enforces its limits strictly. The charge for passengers who breach the airline’s strict size or weight is £40.
Rival travel firms formed a long queue to respond to Ryanair’s fee increases. A British Airways spokesman said, “With free food and drinks, free baggage and free check-in, booking with BA gives you the best possible value for money.” Andrew Kelly, marketing manager for the ferry firm DFDS Seaways, said, “You can now take four people in a car from Dover to the Continent during peak season for less than the airport baggage charge on Ryanair for two cases.” Diane Poole, a spokeswoman for Stena Line, said: “The beauty of travelling by ferry is that there are no restrictions on baggage.”
Ryanair claims the lowest average air fares in Europe: last year a typical flight cost £35. But in a snapshot of fares between London and Barcelona’s main airport, departing on the first Saturday in August, Ryanair turned out more expensive than both its nearest rival, easyJet, and British Airways – even before baggage and other fees were added.
Ryanair have increased its charge for using a debit card to £12
Ryanair – the not-so-low-fares airline
The ‘low-cost’ carrier raised prices by 13% in the first half. Is the era of cheap flights now over?
by Patrick Collinson
le message for travellers: that it’s a low-cost airline. But when chief executive Michael O’Leary speaks to shareholders, it’s a different story. On Monday he was trumpeting a 13% rise in average fares over the past six months – from €44 to €50 – and once the hated extras are thrown in (card fees, online check-in, baggage, etc), the average “yield” per passenger has jumped from €54 to €61.
In Ryanair‘s favour, the fare increases are less than the rise in fuel costs. Unlike its competitors, it has no fuel surcharges (at British Airways it works out at €14 a flight and at Lufthansa €28, according to Ryanair). What’s more, it can still claim to be the lowest-fare airline. It says that easyJet‘s average fare is €71, while at British Airways it’s €248.
But the days of the super-low £1 fares that so captured the public’s imagination are over. Booking a flight home to Dublin this Christmas? Once the extras are thrown in, it’s about £100 return. For an eastern European worker looking for a flight home at Christmas from London, the price rises to about £160-£170, even picking “cheap” flight days such as a Tuesday.
Neither do low-cost airlines always offer the lowest fares. Figures from Skyscanner.net show that someone wanting to fly London to Malaga on 21 November will be charged £36 by Monarch, £45 by BA and £71 by Ryanair.
A trip from London to Pisa on 21 November will cost £74 on easyJet, £123 on BA and £126 on Ryanair.
One problem with airfares is that no one really knows who pays what. The price varies enormously within any airline; the highest prices are paid by those who buy at the last minute. Michael O’Leary has been known to say that his best customers are the bereaved: they have no choice but to pay up.
On its website, Ryanair is currently promoting a £9.99 one-way deal on flights in January and February. Once the extras are added, passengers can probably find a return for £40 or so. Cheap? Yes, but no longer in the realm of just a few quid that Ryanair’s early fans found so enticing.
The direction in fares is only one way: up. Ryanair will ground up to 80 aircraft over the winter, while other airlines are also reducing capacity. Meanwhile, the takeover of loss-making bmi by IAG (British Airways’ parent group) has prompted fears about the future of domestic routes such as London to Belfast, and reduced competition on routes to southern Ireland.
In the US, it’s a similar picture. Angry passengers are finding that domestic flights home for Thanksgiving, which were going for $300 last year, are now closer to $500.
Environmentalists will welcome higher fares as the only way to deter a travelling public that is punch-drunk on cheap flights. But don’t look too closely at Ryanair’s traffic forecasts. Five years ago, it was carrying fewer than 40 million passengers, next year it expects that figure to be above 75 million – and rising. The era of super-cheap flights is over, but the appetite to fly is not.
On the subject of Ryanair complaining about APD, by comparison:
Government’s aviation policy ‘a joke’, says Ryanair boss
Airlines call for Air Passenger Duty to be scrapped
http://www.bitterwallet.com/scrap-apd-low-level-complaining-turns-into-veritable-campaign-by-big-4-airlines/51407 “Mr O’Leary also said that 30 million fewer overseas visitors had come to the UK in the past five years owing purely to APD. No statistics were produced to support these figures, but 100% of statistics are true, we can only assume Mr O’Leary is 100% truthful 100% of the time, so it must be right.” Bitterwallet
see also EasyJet
BACON BUTTIES FUELLING EASYJET REVENUE BOOST
Easyjet shares soared 413⁄4p to 4451⁄2p yesterday
By Peter Cunliffe
A COMBINATION of more business passengers, increased baggage charges and higher spending on extras such as bacon sandwiches has sent easyJet revenues climbing.
The budget airline’s shares soared 413⁄4p to 4451⁄2p yesterday after quarterly revenues rose 16.7 per cent to £763million.
Figures were flattered by comparisons with a year earlier, when heavy snow disrupted flights, but traffic was up 8.1 per cent to 12.9 million passengers.
Income was helped by a rise in baggage charges – now based on journey length – and higher sales of in-flight extras, including a 10 per cent rise in food and drink sales, partly offset by a fall in sales of insurance.
A spokesman said: “Our most popular item is the bacon butty. If you are on a business trip and on a tight schedule then it makes sense to eat during your flight.”
The airline carried 200,000 more business travellers, up to 2.3 million, helped by a rise in the frequency of flights between major cities and financial centres, such as London to Glasgow and Edinburgh and European routes including Paris to Toulouse and Milan.
Chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “EasyJet has made a strong start to the year. This is due to firm control of costs, the strength of easyJet’s network, tight capacity discipline and pricing actions taken in the second half of last year.”
The company said it expected to recover most of the £100million rise in its first-half fuel bill, limiting half-year losses to between £140million and £160million, against £153million at the same stage last year.