The hidden charges of so-called budget airlines
A recent survey carried out by Continental Research (July 2009) found that budget airlines are failing to live up to passenger expectations with many complaints relating to hidden costs. Airport Parking and Hotels, the long stay airport parking experts, has put together a comprehensive table highlighting these hidden charges imposed by low-cost airlines, available at www.aph.com/hiddencharges.
The table compares the extra costs imposed by Ryanair, easyJet, flybe.com, bmibaby.com, Jet2.com and Thomson including check-in and baggage fees, costs for carrying sport and musical equipment and payment card fees. The majority of these hidden charges are unavoidable, but some can be reduced through simple things such as paying for a flight on a debit card or checking-in online.
The research found that all six airlines charge obligatory checked luggage fees, with Ryanair charging the highest baggage fee of £10 per bag, per flight when booking online and doubling this to £20 per bag, per flight when booked through the call centre or at the airport. Passengers also need to be careful with check-in fees as Jet2.com charges travellers £3 to check-in at the airport without any luggage, but increases this to £6 for one or more bags. Thomson, flybe.com and easyJet, on the other hand, offer check-in for free.
The research also found that all the airlines charge to transport sports equipment with fees starting from £15 per item, per flight with Thomson and as much as £30 - £40 per item, per flight with Ryanair. Customers who exceed the luggage allowance will also feel the sting with Ryanair charging the most at £15 per extra kilo and flybe.com charging as much as £21 for every kilo above 6kg.
The table is included on the Know Before You Go section of the APH website, helping savvy travellers with important information before they leave for holiday and tips on how to save money when abroad.
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