Discount Airline Ripoffs!

My last blog post got me thinking. I have significant frustration with all of the "extras", most discount airlines charge. Lets look at six discount airlines and their fares

1. Edinburgh to Oslo with Ryan Air
Fare advertised:  10 pounds. 

There are of course no 10 pound seats left when I try to book one- The seats are now 26.99 pounds (see right).  They then add:
  •  a compulsory web check in fee of 5 pounds - If its compulsory I believe it needs to be in the fare
  • bag fee-its my choice to take 15kg of bag for 20 pounds
  • I choose to board first - Ryanair seats are not allocated – you choose where you want to sit  once you are on board so early boarding guarantees you access to the “better” seats.I like the emergency exit so 4 pounds more 
  • Travel insurance. I decline it but they are quite persistent at trying to get me to buy it
  •  a 5 pound admin fee (why is this not included in the original fare if everyone is going to be charged it?)

TOTAL FARE for a 10 pound flight? 60.99 pounds. While this is still a great fare-its 500% higher than advertised. And with the compulsory check in and admin fees, the advertised fare should have been 20 pounds.

2. Sydney to Melbourne with Tiger
Fare Advertised: $38.95. Tiger claws these expenses from you:
  • a seat! Yes, the fare entitles you a ride in the plane but on top of that everyone pays for their seat: $4 gets you a crappy one (think middle seats and back of plane), $10 are the average seats and for $30 you get a good one like front row or emergency exit- I choose emergency exit
  • a bag $20 for 15kg
  • a Credit Card fee of $6

TOTAL FARE for a 39 dollar flight? $94.95 -170% higher than advertised- It would seem to me that the advertised fare of $38.95 needs to be $48.95 to include the tax, seat fee and ;"convenience" fee as these are non optional.

3. Atlanta to Washington DC with Spirit Airways
Fare Advertised: $9.00

Actual cheapest fare available in all of August: $85.74 then add:
  • Taxes and fees of $29.40
  • Carry on bag $30 (thats extortion)
  • Checked bag $25
  • Emergency exit seat (my choice) for $20. 
Total fare $190.14 !!!! TEN TIMES THE advertised fare. The funniest part of it is that if I join their club for $39.95, they will reduce my baggage charges by $20! MMMMM I wonder how many fall for that one. Advertised fare should be: $145.64 (include the carry on baggage charge)

4. Toronto to Vancouver, BC with WestJet
Fare Advertised: $219.00

To that we add taxes and charges:
  • HST: 35.64 (Harmonised Sales Tax)
  • AIF:  25.00 (Airport Improvement Fees)  
  • ATSC: $7.12 (Air Travellers' Security Charge)
  • NAV/Ins:  $23.00 (I assume Navigation and Air Traffic Control Services)
  • Seats which start at $11.30 (i choose emerg exit for $16.95)

 TOTAL FARE for a $219 dollar flight? $326.71 -50% higher than advertised
Advertised fare should be: $321.06

5. Kuala Lumpar to Phuket with Air Asia
Fare Advertised: 130 MYR

Air Asia adds:
  • Taxes 25MYR
  • Bag 15kg for 20 MYR
  • Meal options are 8 MYR (on such a short flight that makes sense as an extra)
  • To reserve a seat is 5 MYR (25 for a "Hot Seat")
  • Travel insurance automatically-you have to "unselect" it to avoid it
  • a "convenience fee" of 5 MYR to pay for your ticket

TOTAL FARE for a 130 MYR flight? 185 MYR -40% higher than advertised
Advertised fare should be: 185 MYR 

6. Christchurch, NZ to Melbourne, Australia
Fare Advertised: $169

The Jetstar fare includes the taxes but not a luggage charge of $20. It also includes your seat unless you want an upfront seat ($10) or an emergency exit seat ($25). They also charge you a $5 "extra" for your credit card fee-that is not an extra.

TOTAL FARE for a $169  flight? $194 -16% higher than advertised
Advertised fare should be: $174 

I understand that airlines want to charge us for our choices (eg bags or an emergency exit seat) but I dont agree for paying for an everyday seat on the plane. To show taxes as extra also annoys me. I cant make those suckers optional.

The whole system makes comparing fares tricky eg Airline A includes a bag but charges for a seat while Airline B includes all and Airline C waives the seat fee but and charges for bags. Not convinced thats being competitive

Can I please be quoted a fare that includes travel, seat, taxes, check in and booking fee? To bring a bag or ask for an emergency seat, charge me (although I think frequent flyers should get a discount on that charge!)

What do you think? Do you find the charges annoying? Rude? Confusing?
0 Responses

Post a Comment