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Consumer - Airports Costs With Tina Leonard

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

With all the additional charges involved in flying, Tina is going to give us an insight into what those extra charges are and how we can avoid paying those charges. We will also look at a case study to compare the charges between the three Irish airlines Ryanair, Aerlingus and Aer Arann.

There are very good deals out there if you are flying within Europe or further afield. In fact Ryanair say that their average flight cost is now just €68 and Aer Lingus's €188 for a return flight.

Thanks to new European legislation, It is also easier now to see the final price you pay as it must be included as one amount i.e. flight price plus taxes and charges.

However, there are still a lot of add-ons in addition to this 'final price' which will very quickly bring the price of your ticket up.

If you know what they are, you can avoid them though.

Aer Arann
They won't pay any extra charges unless their bags are overweight and are allowed an extra 7kg baggage allowance for the travel cot. They will have to pay an Infant fee of €30 in total and €20 in total for paying with credit card.
Total extra charges: €50

Additional Charges Aer Arann
Credit Card fee €20
Infant Fee €30

Aer Lingus
Checking in two bags online for four flight sectors costs €48, and the infant buggy is included. Cabin baggage is free. In addition they can bring the travel cot as long as it's under 6kg as cabin baggage. They pay €20 for paying with a credit card.
Total extra charges: €68

Additional Charges Aer Lingus
Credit Card fee €20
Check in 2 bags €48

Checking in two bags online is €40 in total. They cannot check-in online as they have checked in bags so this will cost €20 extra in total. They buy two bottles of whiskeys at the airport and put in an extra bag. They will be charged €60 in total for the extra hand baggage. They pay an Infant fee of €20 each way totaling €40. They will also pay €20 in total for the travel cot, the buggy is free. Charges for paying with credit card total €20.
Total extra €200

Additional Charges Ryanair
Credit Card fee €20
Check In €20
Check in 2 bags €40
Infant Fee €40
Travel Cot €20
Duty Free Bag €60

Summary of Additional Charges
Aer Arann €50
Aer Lingus €68
Ryanair €200

The extra charges and how to avoid them

Payment handling fee
This is the fee charged for using your credit or debit card. Aer Lingus, Aer Arann and Ryanair charge no fee if you pay with Visa electron, but we can't get that in Ireland so unfortunately there is very little way of avoiding this charge.

Airport check-in
There is no check-in fee with Aer Lingus or Aer Arann but Ryanair charge €5 each way if you check-in at the airport. However online check-in carries no extra charge, so make sure to check-in this way.

Priority boarding.
Aer Lingus has allocated seats as does Aer Arann but Ryanair doesn't but you have to pay €2 or €3 at the airport if you want to avail of priority boarding. So don't bother with it and arrive early instead.

Bags: check-in or carry-on?
Aer Lingus charge €12 each way for 20kg and Ryanair charge €10 each way for 15kg so you can't avoid this charge if you insist on putting your luggage in the holes. However, there is no extra charge for carry on luggage so pack light and do this. Both Aer Lingus and Ryanair only allow one piece of carry on baggage. Ryanair strictly enforce this and will penalise you with a charge of €30 if you cannot fit everything into one bag. This includes your hand-bag or lap-top and even duty free. So bring a bigger bag than usual for your hand luggage and put everything into it. Aer Arann doesn't charge a baggage fee.

Excess weight
If you have put everything, including your hand bag in your carry on luggage, make sure it doesn't exceed the weight limits allowed. Aer Lingus allows 6kg, Aer Arann allows 7kg.Ryanair allows 10kg. If you exceed this weight you will pay an excess baggage fee. Aer Lingus charge €10 per kg (€9 online) and Ryanair charges €15 per kg. Aer Arann charges €8 per kg.

All three airlines allow you to bring a buggy. Ryanair will carry extra infant equipment for €10 each way if booked online or €20 at the airport. Ryanair also charge for under two year olds; €20 each way as they are not permitted their own seat but must sit on your lap and Aer Arann charges a €15 infant fee.

Sports / musical equipment charge
If you must bring your guitar you must, but it will cost you. It may be cheaper to hire sports equipment where you're going. Aer Arann charges €20 if booked online or €30 at the airport. Ryanair charge €30 online or €40 at the airport and Aer Lingus charge the same. Remember these charges are each way.

Flight change fee
Make sure you are 100% certain of the times and dates you want before you book. If you make a mistake and want to change the time or date of the flight later it will cost you a lot. Ryanair charge €25 or €55 at the airport and Aer Lingus charge €35 each way. Aer Arann charges €25.

Name change fee
Make sure it's your name on the booking and that it's correct. Ryanair charge €100 or €150 at the airport for name changes and Aer Lingus charge €100. Aer Lingus will, however, let you change a spelling for free if it's an obvious error. Aer Arann charges €40.