I have just booked some November flights to Valladolid in Spain and was delighted with the bargain price of just £20 return but I was still annoyed by the final sting of a £10 charge to pay for the flight with my credit card, which effectively amounts to a 50% surcharge!
Information about this charge on the website says:
“to defray the substantial administration costs we incur when processing credit and debit cards a handling fee applies to each passenger, per flight segment…Even allowing for these small charges our fares still represent the best value for money”
Small charges, my arse! According to the banks the average credit card handling fee is on average about 2% so that means about .40p on my £20 fare and I got whacked twenty-five times that amount. There is a special offer on at the moment of zero charges for Electron cards, but who on earth has Electron cards? And they only have to process the payment once so how can they justify multiple charging of passengers? Why aren’t Trading Standards looking into this? Ryanair has over forty million passengers a year so I calculate this rip-off to be netting them four hundred million pounds a year in pure profit. To put this into perspective consider that in 1963 the Great Train Robbers stole £2.6 million and got life imprisonment and in 1983 the Brinks Mat robbery pulled off £26 million and when they were caught more lengthy prison sentances were handed down.
Last year, Stephen McNamara, a spokesman for Ryanair said: “All of those processes go to Visa separate times (for each passenger) so we have to make sure that we are covered in order to cover the costs.” It turns out of course that this statement was another pack of Ryanair lies which just confirms their complete contempt for their customers.
Let’s be honest we all know that Ryanair have got to pay for the cost of flying somehow and zero charge flights are just a bit of a gimmick and I for one would just be happy if they admitted this and just charged me the £5.00 in the first place! That way I wouldn’t feel ripped off and deceived. I don’t mind the baggage charges and the excess weight charges because I can avoid them or it’s my own fault if I don’t but I do object to unreasonable charges being imposed that it is simply impossible to avoid.
Thumbs up on the other hand to Ryanair low cost airline rivals easyJet. Earlier this year I booked summer holiday flights to Athens and when I arrived at the payment screen the charge for paying by credit card was a flat rate of £1.70 plus 2.5% of the cost of the tickets. This is so much more equitable than the Ryanair scam and almost completely in line with the advice from the banks in respect of transaction charges. The total transaction charge was £9.00 on a £280 fare.
I would probably book with easyJet more often in preference to Ryanair but to be honest, even though they irritate me, the only thing that really matters at the end of the transaction is the total price to be paid and in most cases even with the deceit charge Ryanair is generally cheaper. So what am I complaining about then? Well, it’s a matter of principle, Ryanair are being dishonest and I question therefore their business ethics and their respect for the customers.
The reason that easyJet are generally more expensive is that while the two airlines share a common business idea, EasyJet’s strategy differs from Ryanair’s in a number of areas. EasyJet flies mainly to primary airports in the cities that it serves, while Ryanair often chooses secondary airports to reduce costs. For example, EasyJet flies to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris Orly, the primary airports in Paris, while Ryanair flies to the smaller Paris Beauvais Tillé Airport, a 75 minute bus journey from Paris.
Out of the way airports do not really matter to me and are not necessarily a factor in selecting a location because generally I find in more cost effective to hire a car and stay in a cheaper hotel in a nearby town rather than stay in expensive city centres. This worked well recently in Carmona near Seville and in Vila do Conde near Porto both of which had the benefits of a quieter location and better hotels than I could really afford in the city.
Also worth a mention: