Saturday, 11 April 2009

flying on a budget airline

This morning I was reading 'Downturn 'hits regional airports' which had in it a piece regard regional airports charging for fast track security and I wondered how the budget airlines were trying to get away with charing people to go through security and then read it was the airport operators charging for this service. What with Ryanair thinking about charging for the toliets I thought this is nothing new

Airports have insisted that a shortfall in income has forced them to introduce extra charges for services such as fast-track security or car drop-offs for passengers. Luton, Leeds Bradford and Liverpool all charge a £3 fee to fast-track passengers through security, while Bristol airport charges £5. Blackpool and Norwich charge a mandatory airport development fee per passenger.

After reading a bit further Budget airlines have complained that the charges are driving more passengers away and they may stop operating out of airports that charge excessively. Easyjet spokesman Andrew McConnell said the additional fees were "unfair". "Warsaw is an example. They've put the charges up - we've withdrawn our services from the summer. "This really is a warning to UK airports that these charges are unfair."

So Easyjet were trying to flex their muscle and scare the airports into not making these charges which EasyJet thinks are unfair. I think we have to get the violins out for Andrew McConnel of Easyjet as is this the same Easyjet that charging £4.95 minimum or up to 1.95 per cent of the total price just to pay with credit card or £1 per person for payment with a debit card. We think we know what unfair Andrew.

Easyjet's rugby scrum policy of not having allocated seat which puts everyone at a disadvantage because even if your paid extra for priority boarding, you might not get it as I've seen as your all buses to the plane together. This is eloquently explained . I check on the site and speedy boarding from a flight to london to Vienna was going to be £14:00 with no caveat "If you’re bussed to the aircraft we can’t always guarantee you’re off the bus first." So basically a pointless charge.

Your first hold bag is free up to 20kg but after that your charged at £16.00 per bag £8 per leg of the trip and heaven forbid you have any extra weight above the 20kg as its charged at £7 per kg per leg. Who exactly at the time of booking are you meant to know how much your luggage is going to weight? Do they thing we are all psychic? If per chance you are going skiing or snowboard expect an additonal £37 for your board to be popped in the hold.

So what looked like a cheap flight at £133.98 has now balloned to £314.98. Wow

So I check the same flight on Kayak and the same flight was £137.20 complete on Swiss Airlines and the seat was in business class (whatever that means on a short trip) they even said that Fuel Surcharge (from GBP 11.75 to GBP 25.05) and Airport Taxes (from GBP 34.14 to GBP 42.09) are already included in ticket price. Thats one big price difference to what is meant to be a budget airline. So for Easyjet to think any charges are unfair I think they should stop pointing fingers and look closer to home.

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