Ryanair’s New Fee To ‘Check In’ & The Real Cost Of Some Low Cost Carriers

Note: This is a cross-post from Steven Frischling’s Flying with Fish blog, and the original can be read here. Steven Frischling, aka: Fish, is a self employed photographer, and founder of The Travel Strategist, who has flown approximately 1,000,000 miles since he began to track his mileage 2005.
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Everyday hundreds of thousands of travellers take to the internet to search for the lowest airfare for their travels. Eventually many of these travellers with find themselves at the website of a Low-Cost-Carrier (LCC) lured in by the promise of cheap fares…but really what the cost of flying with an LCC?

Irish carrier Ryanair is one of the most notable LCC’s in the world, with a network that operates from a staggering 32 ‘Hub’ airports. Ryanair is known for charging for everything…what exactly is ‘everything?’ well how about they charge you to check in for your flights…either online or at the airport…rates vary.

How do the rates vary? Well if you check in online, and you booked your ticket online your check in fee is €5 (US$6.75), but if you check in online but you booked your ticket via the telephone your check in fee is €10(US$13.50).

Can’t check in online? Well then if you booked your check-in online your fee is €10 (US$13.50), you didn’t book online your only the hood for €40 (US$54.25).

…oh yea, one last thing, these fees are EACH WAY!

You want to actually pay for your ticket? Ryanair requires a €5 fee for payment handling, per one-way flight, so round trip, no connections, you need to pay them €10 to process your payment.

Need to fly with one checked bag? €10each way if you book the baggage online and €20 if you pay at the airport. Sure everyone has baggage fees these days, however Ryanair is incredible strict with carry-on weight and does not allow ANYTHING to be external of the bag. Have a camera on your shoulder? Not allowed. Have a newspaper under your arm? Not allowed. Everything must be in the bag and under 10kg (22lbs). Should you not comply with the cabin baggage conditions, Ryanair reserves the right to cancel your reservations without refund and deny your boarding to the flight.

…so go ahead and purchase the checked baggage option.

So let’s see what Ryanair’s €2.99 & €4.99 each way fare actually costs for flyers travelling from Shannon, Ireland (SNN) to Paris, France (BVA), departing on the 22nd of May returning on the 25th of May.

22-May-2009
Flight FR132
Departing SNN: 2:40pm
Arriving BVA: 5:20pm
Fare €4.99
Taxes/Fees €22.79
TOTAL: €27.78

25-May-2009
Flight FR133
Departing BVA: 1:25pm
Arriving SNN: 2:05pm
Fare €2.99
Taxes/Fees €23.12
TOTAL: €26.11

TOTAL AIRFARE: €53.89

Check-In Online + 1 checked bag: €30.00
Receive Booking Confirmation : €1.00

Total Payment Amount EXCLUDING HANDLING FEE: €84.89
Total Payment Amount INCLUDING HANDLING FEE: €94.89

Check in-online for departure, check in at airport for return (because you have a printer at home to check-in, and on the road you stayed at small hotel with no access to a printer): €45

TOTAL AMOUNT PAID FOR €7.98 airfare? : €139.89

Also keep in mind that Paris-Beauvais (BVA) is 88km (55miles) from Paris, where as Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) is 25km (15miles) from Paris. Transportation from BVA to Paris requires a €13 (cash only) bus ride connecting to the train (RER), each way. A bus from CDG to Paris is €15 each way, dropping you at the Arch de Triumph. Alternately you can take the train (RER) from CDG to the center of Paris for €8 each way (my preferred option). So while BVA may seem cheaper up front, the convenience and cost of getting from BVA to Paris is more costly as well, especially when Ryanair suggests you arrive at BVA 3.5hrs ahead of your flight!

At what cost does one fly Ryanair? Well let’s compare an Air France flight
22-May-2009
Flight AF 5083
Depart SNN 2:50pm
Arrive CDG 6:00pm

25-May-2009
Flight AF 5080
Depart: CDG 11:10am
Arrive: SNN 12:15pm
TOTAL FARE (including all taxes & fees): €147.20

Lets break this down
Ryanair: Can of soda: €3.00
Air France: Can of soda: Free

Ryanair: Virtually no customer service presence at SNN or BVA to assist passengers
Air France: Staff at both airports to assist passengers

Ryanair: No window shades
Air France: Window shades to block the sunlight

Ryanair: Cabin crew hawking anything they can sell
Air France: The cabin crew won’t bother you at all

Ryanair: No seat recline
Air France: Seat reclines for your comfort (but not the person behind you)

Ryanair: One flight per day between SNN-BVA
Air France: Two flights per day between SNN-CDG & access to code share flights if problems arise.

Ryanair: Long multi-stop transit from 88km outside Paris
Air France: Easy simple transit from 25km outside Paris

So, overall looking at the break down of Ryanair as a “Low Cost Carrier” vs Air France which is an established “Network Carrier” what is more time and cost effective?

I know €2.99 & €4.99 sound like fantastic fares, but before booking with a Low Cost Carrier look at all the potential fees and hassles associated with fly them. Some LCCs are great, offer transparent fares and have fantastic service (Southwest Airlines in the US and Jet2 in the UK come to mind) others offer less than stellar service and fees that can significantly drive fees through the roof.

The choice is yours.

Happy Flying!

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Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is the CEO of SimpliFlying and a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought-leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior aviation executives globally, from Chile to Canada and from Sydney to San Francisco. Shashank's perspectives have found their way into major media outlets, including CNN Travel, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg UTV, Mashable and in leading publications like Airline Business, ATW, Aviation Week, and others. Shashank studied Information Systems Management and Business Management at Singapore Management University and Carnegie Mellon University. Hailing from India, he splits his time between Singapore and Vancouver, among other cities.
Shashank Nigam
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Showing 4 comments
  • AIRFARE DEALS checker
    Reply

    I really DO hate Ryanair! I don´t want to tell anyone not to fly with them but my personal experience is so bad. First the price was twice as high as they told me (which was partly my mistake, because i haven´t read all the rules and so) but the second thing is much worse – when I got my luggage at the airport half of things was missing! Fortunately nothing so importnant but still…At least Ryanair won´t have the “fat fee” (at least i have read it at http://blog.flylowcostairlines.org/2009/05/08/ryanair-will-not-introduce-fat-tax/)

  • Fluggesellschaften Check-in
    Reply

    Thanks for revealing the real cost of these airlines, they have been pickpocketing their customers.

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