Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Fixed, non optional costs

I don't fly Ryanair anymore.

I flew to Stockholm once with them and the flight landed- six hours late- at Vesteras, which is about as far from Stockholm as Bristol is from London. I did not actually arrive in the centre of the Swedish capital until 3 AM.

But apart from terrible service, uncomfortable planes and the sense that the ONLY thing that matters is the price, it has always been hard to avoid the idea that Ryanair is a massive rip-off.

Although advertised as a flight for a Pound, or Ten Pounds or whatever, the fact is that this is never the amount that you pay. Taxes, Landing fees, etc always add several Pounds, and these are of course fixed and non-optional costs. So it strikes me that Ryanair are misleading the public; or to use the preferred idiom of the company, they are liars. Therefore I am not surprised to see the ASA are investigating the company, yet again. As usual, the company shrilly attacks its detractors in the most robust language.

But let us go through this again. The passenger pays a price for the ticket, but must also pay the fixed, non optional taxes and fees. Quite often, they may also pay to check-in bags, and pay if not using the Internet check-in. Then sit for a few hours in an uncomfortable seat, packed in, with no service to arrive at a destination nowhere close to where they intend to get to, and pay more for onward land transport.

Actually, if it is all the same to you, I will stick to full service airlines- they can often even be cheaper than Ryanair and they don't treat their customers as an inconvenience.

1 comment:

Edis said...

The airline industry acronym for passengers is, of course, 'SMF' which stands for 'Self-Moving Freight'...