Monday, April 28, 2008

Ryanair - The High Fares Airline

Regular travellers will no doubt be wonderfully happy to hear that our favourite low-cost carrier has once again hiked its rates for luggage and check-in.

The company yesterday confirmed that passengers pre-booking baggage will now have to pay €10 - each way - the charge went from €6 to €9 in January. Those who have the audacity to use the check-in desk rather than Ryanair's online service (booking in on your PC before you travel to the airport) will now pay €5, up from €4. The charges are effective from next Tuesday, May 5. You'll find a full report here.

The airline has said the increases are "aimed at encouraging more people to travel with hand luggage only." It says it will continue raising fees until half its passengers check in online. Of course, once checking in online is the favoured option, the airline will no doubt charge for that as well.

According to a company statement: "Ryanair encourages passengers to avoid these charges altogether by travelling with our 10kg hand luggage allowance and checking in online."

Of course all of this has nothing at all to do with baggage. If this was logically an issue of 'weight' then passengers who are overweight should logically be charged more than those who are not. Don't be surprised if Ryanair do find a way to make extra money in this area though.

The real issue is, of course, the cost of oil. It has been soaring and Ryanair, having made a point of not raising money by charging fuel levies - unlike many other airlines in fairness - has to make up the shortfall somewhere. For those who wish to carry baggage, unfortunately you are the targets at the moment.

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