Times of London: Ryanair Often More Expensive Than British Airways

The Times of London conducted a little investigation into whether Ryanair’s flights are actually as inexpensive as the airline claims to be.  The hunch was that the constant piling on of fees has caused a huge increase in the actual price paid.

The answer?  On ten popular short-haul routes from London to Europe, British Airways was cheaper on 7 of them.  On three of those routes BA’s base fares were even cheaper than Ryanair’s fares.  They give an example of someone checking 20kg of baggage and buying a snack:  That would cost GBP 194 on Ryanair, while it’s free on BA.  For everyone who has flown Ryanair and been extremely annoyed with the fee situation, this should be a small comfort.

The key takeaway (even in the US…):  It’s annoying, but you have to do a little legwork beforehand and figure out the fees.  Tripadvisor’s flight comparison tool includes ancillary fees, so that’s a good place to start.  The fees aren’t going away, and the government isn’t about to step in and regulate how fees are advertised.

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  1. Ryanair is feeling the effects of the crisis, and increase considerably its fares.
    Dublin airport authority also revealed that during the same three-year period, according to recent independently verified figures, Ryanair’s own charges have exploded :

    • Ryanair’s baggage check-in charge has increased by 600% since 2006
    • The charge for using a credit card to book a Ryanair flight has increased by 285% since 2006
    • The cost of changing a Ryanair flight booking has increased by 66% since 2006
    • The cost of carrying sports equipment on a Ryanair flight has increased by 97% since 2006

  2. But why would I need to check a bag or buy a snack on a flight that’s less than two hours in duration?
    People aren’t dumb, and they have free choice. If Ryanair really costs more for people who just want basic service — which I don’t think it does the majority of the time — they’ll catch on and go elsewhere. This is like saying Wal-mart doesn’t always have the lowest price on everything…true, but so what? It’s their marketing hook, and they’ll either prosper or falter by it.

  3. Hey Marla,

    I was actually going to write something about why you would possibly need a bag for a two-hour flight, but then 2 things occurred to me:

    1) They have a growing number of flights longer than 2 hours; and
    2) I was thinking about how many bags I take when we drag the 2 kids down to Florida. It’s ugly :)

  4. The amount of baggage you need with kids eases somewhat after the reach age 5, thankfully.
    But this goes to the fact that the only non-company paid (relocation) airline trip we’ve taken with our kids so far was on Skybus during their brief time flying with dirt cheap fares. Air travel with a family of four or more is still cost prohibitive for many of us “middle class” families.

  5. We’ve flown on Spirit Airlines quite a bit, as they have crazy low specials from time-to-time, but the ancillary fees do add up.

    And I can’t believe that the newspaper industry hasn’t made you rich yet :)

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