Savvy air travelers might be thinking: "Oh, no." So to alleviate any fears the often-reviled, Irish-based carrier is really coming here, no such announcement has been made (though stranger things have happened).
But might its latest often-deplored policy encourage other fee-conscious airlines to do the same?
"You"re probably thinking…it"s highly unlikely I"ll ever fly Ryanair," notes the newspaper Calgary Herald of Ryanair"s latest credit card scheme. "Scary thing is that these trail-blazing ways of adding to a company"s bottom line have a way of becoming standard practices."
"Which US airline will be first to copy Ryanair's new fee if you don't buy with their credit card? asks a blogger on Airfarewatchdog.com.
Ryanair"s fee-grabbing nature has already repeatedly influenced other airlines.
They came up with the idea of charging more for excess baggage and fees for choosing seats ahead of time.
The no-frills airline recently announced another extra to its already long list.
Starting Nov. 1, it will charge passengers an extra 6 pounds (US$9.50) if they book with anything else but the airlines own Ryanair Cash Passport. That could add another $40 to a family of four taking a holiday.
Previously, customers had been able to avoid a £6-per-flight fee by paying with any prepaid Mastercard. But as of Nov. 1, the only way to skirt the fee will be by signing up to Ryanair's own Prepaid Mastercard -- all other cards will be charged.
Prepaid cards will have to be loaded in advance and, while Ryanair says there will be "no transaction charges for using the card at UK merchants until 31st March 2012," customers will then reportedly face a transaction fee for any non-Ryanair purchases.
"Only we deliver the lowest air fares and no fuel surcharges," says a spokesman. "Passengers should make the switch to take advantage of this no-fee offer."
Fee pioneer Ryanair in the past:
Tuesday, September 20, 2011