Are Budget Airlines Really Cheap?

Singapore
April 6, 2010 3:25pm CST
I just came across an article while I was surfing about the recent price hike on Ryanair and I cannot imagine what it actually or really mean traveling on a budget. For a start, Ryanair along with other low cost budget airlines are actually no frills where travelers will literally need to pay for everything from amenities to food. However of late the Irish carrier is really taking no frills to a whole new perspective. It will be raising its per-bag fee from £15 to £20 and £15 fee for checked-in bags. If you are protesting now, wait till you hear about the astronomical mark ups on their snacks onboard their flights which studies have revealed that these snacks can cost nearly quadruple what they would cost in the supermarkets. Now, I can understand about able to do without these snacks or bring your own. But, what is there to stop them from preventing their passengers from bring their own snacks or refreshments onboard? If you are disagreeing, then I would beg to differ and tell you that this airline is actually going to charge for using the toilets on its planes. It emerged today that the airline is working with Boeing to redesign cabins and develop coin-operated toilets on 168 of its planes. Not content with charging passengers for use of the facilities, the airline is also looking at reducing the number of toilets on board, leaving just one available cubicle for up to 189 passengers. So, passengers would be forced to part with either £1 or €1 for each visit of these toilets in the cabin. Now this is of course the latest additions charges on top of the present charges for food and drink on board as well as leveraging a charge for credit card payments, hold luggage, online and airport check-in. Factoring all these charges in, I am wondering if traveling on budget airlines like Ryanair really cheap or better worded economical at the end of the day. I just have to wonder here. What do you think? Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1264006/Ryanair-hikes-luggage-charges-summer-toilet-tax-phased-in.html
6 people like this
7 responses
6 Apr 10
Oh my god I read about this in a newspaper, they reckon that charging its passengers to use the toilet would allow them to save money elsewhere! Its ridiculous!! You already cant take liquids on a plane anymore so they are making more money there, and some places do stop you taking food on board as well, so your stuck paying for it! You often find when your trying to book on these flights that it starts out really cheap, and then you add check-in costs, baggage costs, air tax and VAT, that is where it starts to build up! I forget whether it was ryanair or easyjet that was offering flights for a pound, but then you added it all on and you might as well book with another company, for the same price and added security. I remember when I was working for a travel company in an airport abroad, one day easyjet flight was cancelled, and there was no-one from the company to help all the customers, nearly 200 people needed help finding another flight and they all came to us, and there wasnt much we could do as we only had a few seats available and they all had to pay, thats the problem with all these budget companies, if something goes wrong there is no-one there to help you, I know some people dont like more expensive airlines but if a flight gets cancelled they have it in their contract that they have to get you home, the budget ones usually dont have that, so your stuck trying to find a flight.
• Singapore
7 Apr 10
Auntiescarf, I just cannot say more here but I have to disagree with these low cost airlines' principles at the end of the day. For one, I suppose the saying that says "There's no such thing as a free lunch" and how true! Honestly, I just feel that these price hikes are just pathetic, pretentious and simply very wrong in principle. I can understand the keen competition, cost of operation and everything about running a business - so, what's wrong with raising the fare to stay viable, in the first place? Oh yes, I forgot...by the time they can actually settle down with the ideal fare, they will be looking no further or much different from their predecessors a.k.a. full cost airlines. You see, all these hikes and cutting corners with hiring skeletal ground crews are just very telling and indicative that there's no such thing as a low cost airline. I don't like a single bit what I am seeing and reading about these sheep clothed "wolves" which I am dejected with my anticipation that they will eventually be another full cost airline at the end of the day!
@Iriene88 (5352)
• Malaysia
7 Apr 10
Dear skysuccess, What you mentioned is really true. I have not tried Ryanair. However I have tried JetAir and AirAsia (long long time ago). Everything is chargeable. So, it depends on how light and the distance you travel. We have to really consider the pro & cons of budget air. Cheers and take care :)
1 person likes this
• Singapore
7 Apr 10
Hi Iriene88, It's been sometime - how's things with your family and you? I am just not agreeable with these price hikes especially with the implementation of a chargeable toilet onboard. If this is not enough, there's another company that is charging passengers per way for carry on luggage that needs to be stored in the overhead compartment. I mean, can you believe this? Ref: http://travel.yahoo.com/p-interests-33623430 Take care, too.
1 person likes this
@Iriene88 (5352)
• Malaysia
8 Apr 10
Dear skysuccess, We are fine, thanks. I am in a dilemma as whether to go to Langkawi this weekend or not because there are schools closed due to suspected H1N1. Yes, talking about the ridiculous charges on low-cost flight, it is unbelieveable! Therefore, one have to really consider the cost before booking the tickets, lest being charge more than what it is worth. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend :)
1 person likes this
• Singapore
8 Apr 10
Iriene88, If the schools are being closed then it would indicate some severity of it. So, if the trip can be postponed please do it as it is just not worth the risk. I hope that the trip itself is not so important as to allow a postponement. I am sure all parties should be able to understand under such circumstances. As for me, I had to skip Bangkok this week due to the ongoing Red Shirt protest. So, try and skip yours if you can. Take care.
1 person likes this
@Leanna86 (31)
7 Apr 10
Hello Sky. I recently wanted a really cheap get away and normal box standard flights with the main airlines like BA, thomson etc. were all averagely £250-300 pp for a return, and this was based over 2 months that I was willing to fly. I went on Ryanair and yes I agree it is the most simplistic flights you could ever imagine but I paid £103 pp return which included my baggage, booking in costs etc. If you want to go on a flight and don't mind paying for a in flight meal for £20, or extra leg room, an aisle seat or larger seats etc. then you obviously have more money than you have for money saving ideas, I couldn't afford a £300 flight and in the end I got an all inclusive holiday to the canaries, flights and transport for under £300 each :D I think the main point is that if like me you want CHEAP then make some sandwiches, take a book and book with ryan air...oh yeah and hold it in! or if you are really weird buy a she wee lol
1 person likes this
• Singapore
8 Apr 10
Leanna86, Out of interest, how much did you have to pay in addition to the airfare for taxes? How much in total did you have to pay eventually for the airfare? Also, how far advance did you have to book to get that £103 pp return? I am sure you will need to prebook and pay well in advance to have that fare. Now, it is a fact that the taxes that these low cost airlines are collecting are actually leveraged as well. Believe me, I have traveled on almost all of them and I did my homework on the taxes I had paid with other airlines (full cost) plying on the same route. It is unfair and totally disrespectful, considering some of them are actually using other airport terminals from the normal well facilitated ones. Next, you come across to me as a young working adult and I am really glad that your holiday especially your flight came off without a hitch. Else, I just cannot imagine what it would be like when your return flight was to be unduly delayed or worst canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. Your budget ticket will not allow you to be transferred onto another available airline without paying full cost. No meals or overnight accommodations will be provided for and again, without paying for it. Most of all, no partial refund for that return leg if the delayed flight option offered is unacceptable to you and you had to pay for another airline full cost. Not forgetting, these delays are most of the time indefinite. I just cannot imagine and it is a fact that there had been individuals loosing their jobs due to their inability to report back to work on time after their permitted holiday leave, and for this to befall on you. Now, how CHEAP is it? When you loose your job? I can understand the part where we try to adapt and overcome shortcomings, however, I just do not see the point of implementing chargeable and worse, coin operated toilets. You and I may hold it in but try telling pregnant women, children or pre-existing condition individuals. Even I can have my off days! Or, try boarding with a bout of diarrhea - with 2 coin operated cubicles serving 168 passengers and both of these cubicles' slots had a "hold it in"! Then what? Buy a quadrupled sky high priced she wee? Lady, you just have not seen what's coming when this implementation might pose here. I can go with the fact that the airlines may find ways to earn money like inflight duty free sales, meals, refreshments and even inflight entertainment. But, to commercialize basic human facilities such as the use of the toilet is just unbecoming and wrong in principle.
9 Apr 10
Hello again :D I believe the flights themselves were £25 each way and then £15 baggage each way and £20 administration, and then a charge for using my debit card to make the transaction so probably just under the £103 each. I didn't really book to far in advance only 2 months which I can't really see affecting the price. But I do agree with you on the whole charging customers to use the toilet, and if I am honest I would probably still go through the cheap flight option again and pay the £1 to use the loo if needed, it still saves costs compared to the doubled price using top airlines. In regards to your comment about delays, no transfers etc. then I would also say that I always make sure I purchase good travel insurance which covers these unforseen circumstances, which when you go with a top airline they charge you for this option so i feel im not really loosing out either way... Well apart from the additional 5cm's of bum space and 15 cm's of leg room! But yes I am a young working adult and costs are a big thing in my mind and I feel that I get the exact same service regardless of operator, and especially at a time when money is worth hardly anything, the cheapest option will always be the first choice I go to :D
• United Kingdom
7 Apr 10
I think that it's getting ridiculous now how some of these so called budget airlines are operating and I think that Ryan air has to be the dark horse out of all of them! If there's some way they can make extra money from passengers then they will definitely do whatever is required. To charge £1 or even one euro, this is shameful!. I guess things will always remain like this in the current climate though! Hopefully things will improve financially and airlines will start showing more leniency towards their passengers! Andrew
1 person likes this
• Singapore
7 Apr 10
AndrewFreyne, Let me assure you that Ryanair isn't the only rogue. No offense, but I am sure you would have read about accounts of abandonment when these so called low cost airlines have an inoperable flight. If you consider charging for the use of the cabin toilet a shame, I wonder what are your views of another airline charging for carry on baggage and mind you it is not check in baggage, we are familiar with. Have a nice day. Ref: http://travel.yahoo.com/p-interests-33623430
@Porcospino (16435)
• Denmark
7 Apr 10
I have used Ryanair and Easyjet a couple of times. I was a student at that time and I didn't have much money so I chose to travel on budget airlines. Everything went well and I didn't have any problems, but I know that some people have had a bad experience with Ryanair, and they didn't get any help to solve their problems. If it is a short flight I don't need to buy a snack or use the toilets, so those things aren't a problem for me. I always travel light, so I wouldn't be too worried about the luggages fee either.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
7 Apr 10
Porcospino, Well, here's the thing, just don't be too contended because coming from another airline they are charging passengers per way for carry on baggage that is stored in the overhead compartment. More to come? Why not? Who's going to stop them, at the end of the day? Ref: http://travel.yahoo.com/p-interests-33623430
@zed_k4 (17634)
• Singapore
6 Apr 10
Hiya Sky..it's been awhile.. for me, I will never board on a plane with just 1 toilet.. call it hygiene or what..but if the flight is only for 1-2 hours, I might consider it. There are also other factors to consider like enough legroom and all that for it to be worth a ticket price. But again, if it's just 1 hour flight and comparable in price to other expensive ones, I might. But for comfort, I might not..
• Singapore
7 Apr 10
zed_k4, I cannot help but wonder if there's such a thing as a low cost airline, for a start. These companies by far is just a living joke since they came into the scene cutting corners on staffing, air crews and airport conveyancing. I mean look or rather read about the accounts of their passengers being abandoned when their flights are delayed or canceled. Then, there are the fees like leveraging a charge for credit card payments, hold luggage, online and airport check-in. Not forgetting the astronomical sky high prices for their meals, snacks and refreshments. If you think that's all, then you are going to be disappointed - you will find that there will be the leveraged fuel surcharges, security taxes and airport taxes - which are more than what you might pay for a full cost airline. And, now imposing a fee for using their flight toilets? This is just pathetic and outright outrageous, not forgetting unbecoming. If you think this is the last you hear, I bet you've not heard of the latest about another low cost airline charging a fee for carry on baggage where the charge will apply to bags in the overhead bin each way. Going at their present rate, I am not surprise of more hikes at the end of the day. Who's going to stop them?
@Sandra1952 (6052)
• Spain
6 Apr 10
I live in Spain, and when I fly back to England, I use Ryanair because they are the cheapest option by far. It would cost me at least double to fly with another airline. I don't check in baggage, and it's only a two hour flight so I don't need anything to eat or drink, and I an manage without the loo. I don't like airline toilets, anyway, and would only use them in a dire emergency. If it was a holiday flight, I'd probably look at other options, but Ryanair suits my purpose, and they do have the effect of forcing other airlines to be more ompetitive.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
7 Apr 10
Sandra1952, I do catch your drift about short haul flights but I must remind you that there will be travelers who will need to carry their luggages for their trip or to have a bite or drink and certainly the use of the loo. Overall, I can understand about price hikes when situations calls for it but to take it out on things like using the loo in the cabin during a flight?? This is just pathetic and wrong in principle.