Airline Fees and Charges (Britain)

Discussion in 'Travel News' started by roryg, Jul 6, 2006.

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  1. roryg

    roryg Junior Member

    Apr 6, 2005
    Sound familiar?

    From The Daily Telegraph
    Airline extras reach new heights
    (Filed: 01/07/2006)

    Taxes and extra charges paid by passengers on many British Airways routes have almost doubled since 2003, a Telegraph Travel investigation discovered this week.

    Whereas, for example, £20.40 was paid in extras on a return flight with BA from Gatwick to Barcelona in November 2003, last month passengers faced taxes of more than £42 (see table).

    The equivalent charges with EasyJet rose from £9.50 to £10 over the same period. Passengers pay almost five times as much in taxes, fees and charges to fly with BA from Bristol to Glasgow (£49.20) than they do with EasyJet (£10).

    The findings came in the week that the Office of Fair Trading announced it was investigating allegations of price-fixing related to fuel surcharges at BA and other airlines. A BA spokesman said the airline did not want to comment on its charging policy while the investigation was under way.

    BA is not the only airline to impose ever higher charges. Passengers travelling with Bmi, Thomsonfly and Flybe regularly see up to £50 added to the cost of a return flight, often more than doubling the initial fare. Bmi charges £52 in extras for return flights between Gatwick and Nice, compared with £14.50 on EasyJet on the same route. Ryanair's charges on most routes usually range between £10 and £30 return.

    The imposition of an £8 fuel surcharge per flight by BA and the favourable airport landing fees often negotiated by no-frills airlines only partly explain these huge discrepancies.

    Simon Evans, chief executive of the Air Transport Users Council (AUC ) said that such wide variations in extra charges are confusing for passengers and that most of the additions should be included within the main fare.

    "It is misleading for passengers, as many of these extras, such as fuel and insurance charges, are part of the day-to-day running costs of an airline and should be absorbed," he said.

    Last year an AUC report said that the way charges were presented on airline websites made it difficult for passengers to compare prices accurately. It also revealed that half of all passengers were unaware that airlines charged different levels of taxes and fees on a particular route.

    However, Evans said that BA should be commended for not hiding the taxes and charges until the last stage of booking. On BA's website, the first price a passenger will see is the total fare, inclusive of these extras, he said.
    Most other airlines only add the extra taxes at the end, often more than doubling the advertised fare. A flight this week with Thomsonfly from Bournemouth to Amsterdam in August appeared at first to cost £1.49 each way, but with taxes and charges it was more than £40 return.

    For many passengers travelling on no-frills flights, such charges are only the start. To check in luggage on Ryanair and Flybe now costs £5. Credit-card fees continue to rise: EasyJet charges £4.95 per booking, while a family of four using a credit card to book return flights with Ryanair will pay £14 extra. You can often pay about £5 just to choose your seat, and an extra £7 for an infant (under two). Taking golf clubs, skis or surfboards can set you back a further £15-£20. Booking over the phone adds £5-£7. Then there are the costs of drinks and snacks on board (a can of Coke, for example, costs £3 on EasyJet).

    No-frills passengers also face higher costs if they cancel or change their booking. Ryanair offers no refunds for cancellations and demands £70 to change the name on a booking - more than double the cost of its average fare of £28. BA does not charge for such a change and allows cancellations (depending on your ticket) for a £30 administration fee.

  2. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    I never knew airlines charged money to check-in luggage. Some of those extra charges are little over the top.

    I would love to see the day where life returns to normal and airlines display and charge all-inclusive airfares. No hidden extras except for maybe departure taxes in some countries.
  3. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

    Jun 30, 2002
    Flight Map:
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    At least they can actually change a name on a booking.
  4. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    It's a slightly misleading article I think. Cheapest BA fares are non-refundable. (BTW cheapest means cheapest in the class ... Even some Business fares are non-refundable :eek: )

    I don't think you can change the name either on the cheapest BA tickets, however I don't tend to buy their tickets too often so can only go on previous experiences.

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