Passengers planning to fly Ryanair next summer, beware: charges on Europe’s biggest budget airline will soar in 2012. Checked-in bag fees paid in advance increase by two-thirds, while travellers checking in a bag at the airport without booking ahead face a fee of £100 – up 150 per cent. The airline has divided 2012 into low and high seasons, with the latter stretching across the summer from June to September, as well as Christmas. In peak season, the cost of checking in a single 15kg bag rises from £15 to £25, totalling £200 for a family of four on a return trip. The price for a second bag will be even higher, at £45.
Ryanair claims the lowest average air fares in Europe: last year a typical flight cost £35. But in a snapshot of fares between London and Barcelona’s main airport, departing on the first Saturday in August, Ryanair turned out more expensive than both its nearest rival, easyJet, and British Airways – even before baggage and other fees were added.
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How can air-fares vary so much? With some understandable variations, most costs are the same – so how – or rather why – do they charge such incredibly different prices for the same service?
Why isn’t a ‘return’ roughly twice a ‘single’? Why does one airline charge 500 euros and another (or even the same) charge 45 euros for the same flight?
How much do their bean-counters earn?