Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ryanair Makes [Pounds Sterling]500m on 'Extras'. and They're Raising Bag Charges Again

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ryanair Makes [Pounds Sterling]500m on 'Extras'. and They're Raising Bag Charges Again

Article excerpt

Byline: Sri Carmichael Consumer Affairs Reporter

NO-FRILLS airline Ryanair took more than half a billion pounds in extra charges from passengers last year on top of its headline fares, its accounts show today.

The company has infuriated holidaymakers by making them pay for hold luggage, priority boarding and ticket printing.

Ryanair's quarterly results show it made [pounds sterling]548 million from "ancillary" income, which includes baggage fees, in-flight meals, commission on hotel bookings, car rental and insurance bought through its website and onboard snacks. The figures were collated by US research group the Idea-Works Company.

The airline advertises bargain tickets, sometimes for only [pounds sterling]5. But when tax and other costs, such as paying by card or carrying skiing equipment, are added the travel bill can rise by more than 20 times.

Ryanair announced this week it is to increase checked luggage fees again, by 50 per cent, to up to [pounds sterling]70 a bag. Checking in a bag at the airport goes up from [pounds sterling]20 to [pounds sterling]30, while registering it online goes up from [pounds sterling]10 to [pounds sterling]15. A second bag will cost [pounds sterling]70 at the airport and [pounds sterling]35 online.

In 2006, it cost [pounds sterling]5 to put a bag in the hold on a Ryanair return flight. There are also increases for taking sports equipment on board. The charges will come into force on 1 October. Seven out of 10 Ryanair passengers fly with only hand luggage to cut costs.

All airlines have seen fare income plummet because of the global recession.

British Airways, which lost [pounds sterling]401million in the last financial year, recently turned to charges to boost its takings. It will charge up to [pounds sterling]40 for a second piece of hold baggage for economy passengers from next month. It has also reclassified sporting equipment, such as skis, as part of the baggage allowance, which means skiers carrying a suitcase will have to pay an extra [pounds sterling]40 at the airport -- or [pounds sterling]32 if it is checked in online. …

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