In the UK, it is often not the price of a ticket, but additional airline charges that are higher than the base airfare. Ryanair charges £110 to change a passenger name on a booking, £45 to check in at the airport, and £15 to print a boarding pass.
Last month, more than 5,000 disgruntled Ryanair passengers launched a landmark £400 million class action suit against the budget airline over alleged unfair hidden air ticket charges. The law suit was set up by online claims firm CaseHub.
Jim Shannon MP raised the issue in Parliament earlier this month following claims that airlines in Europe made almost £13bn last year through additional charges and the sale of extras including food and insurance.
Aviation minister Robert Goodwill last week told MPs that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) “will start work on unfair contract terms with the airlines this summer … with the aim of ensuring the rights and obligations of the consumers and businesses are fair and balanced and consumers are not being penaliszd by unfair contract terms.”
Other airlines’ additional charges vary. To change the name on a booking, EasyJet charges up to £50; Flybe charges £40; Jet2 charges £35; and onarch up to £120.
According to Ryanair, “all Ryanair charges and fees are clearly outlined on the Ryanair.com website and throughout the entire booking process. Customers are asked to ensure that the details they enter at the time of booking are correct before completing their booking and we offer a 24 hour ‘grace period’ to correct minor booking errors. A €110 name change fee is charged in order to discourage and prevent unauthorized online travel agents, such as eDreams and Opodo, from ‘screenscraping’ Ryanair’s cheapest fares and reselling them on to unwitting consumers at hugely inflated costs.”