10 September 2009

Ryanair increases Baggage Fees again

The Irish 'low fares' airline Ryanair has announced a further increase in its fees for checked-in baggage from next month. According to the airline, it is "part of a change in company policy".

In order to keep people confused at all times, the amount of bags Ryanair passengers can check in will increase, but at a higher cost.

From October 1st passengers will be able to check in two bags, each with a separate 15 kg allowance. This a double the current Ryanair luggage allowance of 15 kg.

But the on-line fee for the first checked-in bag will rise from currently € 10 to € 15, while the fee for the second bag goes up from € 20 to € 35.

If the bags are checked in at the airport, the fee for the first bag climbs from € 20 to € 30, while the charge for the second bag goes up from € 20 to a staggering € 70!!!

The airline says that the higher charges will "recover" the cost of what has apparently been "a 20% fall in average fares" this year. And it adds that the increases are "aimed at encouraging passengers to travel with carry-on luggage only".

I am not so sure about this. To my knowledge, Ryanair fares have not fallen in recent times. In fact, with all the add-on charges for luggage, credit card use (which is obligatory for booking with Ryanair) and other so-called 'extras' that were free until recently and still are with many other airlines, travelling with Ryanair has in fact become ever more expensive.
Adding to this the fact that many Ryanair flights do not go to major European cities - despite the airline's claim that they do - but to obscure small airports* many miles away from these cities, the idea of 'cheap flights to the heart of Europe' becomes even less attractive.

Since Ryanair's boss Micheal O'Leary (right) never does anything without a reason - and without gaining a profit from it - I do wonder if the real reason for the sudden and steep increase in baggage charges might be that Mr. O'Leary is a strong supporter of the Lisbon Treaty. Has become a major donor to the YES campaign in the run-up to the second referendum on October 2nd, and I am sure he is keen to recover this money in some way.

Personally I do no longer fly at all (as regular readers of this weblog will know from previous entries) and I have never used Ryanair. But if I would still fly, Michael O'Leary's aggressive support of the YES campaign for the Lisbon Treaty would be a good reason never to use his airline again.
I hope that readers who still fly with commercial airlines will take notice of this and follow my line of thought.

The Emerald Islander

* Many Ryanair flights pretend to go to major cities, but their aeroplanes actually land on small airports nearby, or in some case quite a distance from the 'official' destination. Passengers are then transported to the actual destination by train or - more often - by bus. When Michael O'Leary developed the Ryanair network, he took advantage of the large number of small local and regional airports in Europe. Some of them had existed for a long time and serviced mainly small private aeroplanes and flying schools, without any airline ever going there. Others had been military airbases during the 40 years of the 'Cold War'. When, after 1990, the strength of NATO military power was reduced all over the European continent, a growing number of these airfields became available for civilian use. A typical example is the former US Airforce base at Hahn, in the German state of Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate), which was the home of American fighter bombers for decades. Now it is a civilian regional airport and serves - among others - Ryanair as one of their main destinations in Europe. But only Ryanair sells their flights to Hahn as flights to "Frankfurt-Hahn", even though no such place actually exists. Frankfurt, the metropolis of the neighbouring state of Hessen (Hesse) and the financial capital of Germany, is in fact more than 100 km away.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for telling us. It's a scandal, and Ryanair is not at all a "low cost" airline. They may have low starting prices for the basic fare, but when you book a flight with them, you pay as much as with many other airlines after all the extras are added on. It's a scam, a typical Irish rip-off scam, and I would never fly with them.

Anonymous said...

i agree, the Times online made a survey which showed that Ryanair and other low cost airlines are now more expensive on some short haul routes than British Airways!

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