No Frills Airlines in the Spotlight Again

It has been reported that the Office of Fair Trading have criticised Ryanair for its pricing policy. The spat is about the way Ryanair advertises its fares and the OFT says that Ryanair are getting around the rules by offering no credit card charges on the little used prepaid Mastercard.

I have had recent experience of these extra charges imposed by airlines and I don’t like the way they add on extra charges. The other day I booked a no-frills flight for a customer from Leeds/Bradford to Lanzarote and the final price was about £170 more for a family of four than I thought it would be. Four items of luggage added an extra £103. There was a check-in fee of £24, a credit card charge of over £18 and a booking fee of nearly £28.

I accept that luggage is an optional extra and in this case the credit card charge is reasonable but what about the booking fee and an online check in charge ? Surely the customer, by checking-in online, is saving the airline money by checking in online so why the charge ? Also, what is the booking fee all about ? Does the airline not want the customer to book !

The issue is not about these charges but it’s about transparency and advertising. Some airlines try to bend the rules and that is not customer friendly in my opinion. Why is it that the travel industry seems to be the main culprit when it comes to pricing issues.I can’t think of any other industry where this sort of thing would be tolerated but I suppose it’s the final price that matters and as long as the travelling public are happy then the OFT may well be fighting a losing battle.





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