Who hasn’t been lured by €10 flights, only to find the actual price nearer €50? Airlines are now being investigated by the EU for these hidden fees.
From the ridiculous attempt by RyanAir to start charging £1 to customers for using the aircraft toilet to paying huge baggage fees, we have all got stories from our experiences with low budget airlines. Now it seems that the European Commission is with the public in thinking ‘enough is enough’ and have decided to launch an inquiry to the ‘add on’ charges implemented by airlines such as Easyjet, RyanAir, Whizz and Flybe.
The 21st century has brought about a Europe that is more interlinked than ever witnessed in it’s history. Policies such as the Single European act make it easier for people to move freely within the European zone, which is why many EU citizens choose to start new lives elsewhere whilst still being able to make frequent trips back home. Budget airlines certainly reflect the closeness of Europe due to the varied destinations options on offer. Easyjet offers 92 destinations; from Tallinn, Estonia right across to Faro, Portugal, the temptation for customers to go on a quick getaway to a European city is expectedly high.
The shrewd owners of budget airlines are all too aware of Europeans who are keen to visit and explore other parts of the continent. Hence we find ourselves in a situation where we pay much more for our ‘low cost’ flights, in most cases taxes and ‘additional fees’ equating to more than the flight ticket itself. Here are examples of the hidden extras that one comes across when buying a ticket. The infamous check in charges, where an extra £10 (for return tickets) is added to your price to check yourself onto your flight, failure to do so will mean extra charges in the region of an outstanding price of £40!
Paying to pay; another hidden gem, when you think it’s all over with regards to extra charges you reach the stage of paying for your ticket and are greeted with the news that you have to pay an administration fee for your card payment (tip- you can get away with this on ryanair if you use a MasterCard Prepaid card). It is advised if travelling with a budget airline, try and pack your belongings into as fewer bags as possible. If not you are met with a £30 (£15 with easyjet) fee for each suitcase you carry, in the case of ryanair there are now charges even for those not carrying any bags; £4- charming.
The net profit of ryanair in the year 2010 was €341m and an increase of £121.3m for easyjet. There is nothing ‘budget’ like about the kind of prices paid by customers, and rightly the European Commission has decided to investigate whether or not the fees are plausible. Hopefully this ensures that in the future we are offered actual cheap deals from Europe’s popular budget airlines.