(I’ve almost caught up with my posts – dread the thought I might be up to date by tomorrow afternoon. Of course stranger things have happened – normally whilst I’m in the queue to board the plane).
How long is it since I’ve bitched about O’Leary’s pestilence of an airline? Far too long it seems.
The Office of Fair Trading enforces both consumer protection and competition law, acting as the UK’s economic regulator. Which is nice when they actually win something or get off their backsides to do something in the case of the bank charges fiasco.
However, they’ve decided to turn their attention to our Irish friends. Why this time? As mentioned last year in this blog, Ryanair are now charging for Visa Electron, whilst making Pre-Paid MasterCard Free of fees for that method of payment only.
The Office of Fair Trading has declared Ryanair “puerile and childish”, whilst Ryanair say their payment policy model allowed passengers “to avoid costs”
In UK law, if an airline offers at least one free payment method, it is allowed to advertise cheap fares that do not include extra credit card charges. So in Ryanair’s case it was Visa Elecrtron before, now Pre-Paid Mastercard.
Mr Fingleton told the Independent newspaper: “Ryanair has this funny game where they have found some very low frequency payment mechanism and say: ‘Well because you can pay with that’.
“It’s almost like taunting consumers and pointing out: ‘Oh well, we know this is completely outside the spirit of the law, but we think it’s within the narrow letter of the law’.”
Ryanair of course came back with one of their classic responses
Ryanair Head of Communications Stephen McNamara said: “Ryanair is not for the overpaid John Fingletons of this world but for the everyday Joe Bloggs who opt for Ryanair’s guaranteed lowest fares because we give them the opportunity to fly across 26 European countries for free, £5 and £10.
“What the OFT must realise is that passengers prefer Ryanair’s model as it allows them to avoid costs, such as baggage charges, which are still included in the high fares of high cost, fuel surcharging, strike-threatened airlines such as BA.”
No Ryanair. What it means if you don’t pay attention to EVERY detail to a Ryanair booking, and play the game, you’ll get stung and stung hard with some of their costs.
And I’m sorry – I know how much it costs to process a credit or debit card. HINT. It’s less than £5 a time based on their fare structure. In other words – you’re a profit centre to Ryanair.
So always double check everything, and when possible – do yourself a favour – double check the prices, ignore the headline fares and compare with a traditional carrier. You might be surprised at the actual difference (and it will be small)