Published on Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hidden airline charges are number one frustration

Hidden charges by airlines have been voted the most annoying aspect of air travel by users of Skyscanner.

Charges for checking-in hold baggage, fuel surcharges and booking with a credit card received 24% of the vote.

Close behind, with 23% of the vote, was queuing for security and boarding, followed by lack of seat space (15%), fellow passengers (11%), having to check in so early (8%), bad staff attitude and poor customer service (6%), sitting on the runway waiting to take-off or disembark (4%), having to bus to and from the plane (4%) and waiting for your luggage at the other end (4%).

Skyscanner head of marketing Rob Innes said: “It’s incredibly annoying when you see a great flight deal, only to find the actual price is considerably higher once you’ve added all the extras.

“A transparent pricing system would win more favour with air travellers and avoid them feeling ripped off when they arrive at the checkout page. The good news is that if you study the small print and learn how to avoid the extras, you can still get great deals on flights”.

In a tongue in cheek press release, Skyscanner suggested a number of other things airlines could charge extra for:

- A successful landing fee – to be paid upon disembarking the aircraft following a safe touchdown
- Coin operated overhead lockers, window blinds and seat lights
- Charge a premium disembarking fee – pay to get off the plane first
- Fee for releasing oxygen mask, then extra charge per minute of oxygen consumed
- Extra charge for emergency exit seats
- New charge for hand luggage based on weight
- Passenger weigh-in: surcharge of £1 per lb.
- Surcharge for children as they generate less revenue from onboard sales (they can’t buy alcohol)
- Life jacket optional – extra fee if you want one
- Extra charge for newer planes
- Standing room only – extra charge for use of seat
- Charge for using electronic devices onboard
- Charge extra for the captain’s weather forecast at the destination
- Extra charge for having a co-pilot
- Pay the pilot minimum wage, but allow them to make money on tips; pass their hat round on successful landing (see also: successful landing fee)
- Order planes without windows, as they will be cheaper and lighter

By Bev Fearis

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  • /Hidden/ charges??

    I do wonder how 24% of people think these charges are hidden. I've never seen an airline booking site that does not both list them on the price list and present them before payment.

    By C M, Thursday, March 19, 2009

  • Hidden airline charges are number one frustration

    There are indeed no hidden charges as C M says. They are all listed clearly before you pay. I have just travelled from Stansted to Belfast City and back with Ryanair for a TOTAL cost of two pence, difficult to hide any charges there! Even if I had had to pay an extra few pounds to use the overhead locker and the toilet it would still have been a lot cheaper than the rail fare from London to Stansted. I would also point out to Keith Standen that the on board staff on the train were far from perfect when it came to speaking the English language but they also had something else in common with the Ryanair cabin crew . . . . . politeness!!

    By Paul Burnell, Thursday, March 19, 2009

  • Coin operated aircraft

    Hey come on Skyscanner, I suggested coin operated overhead lockers weeks ago and for seatback trays. Also extra charges for taking off on time (or taking off at all!) also extra charges for cabin crew who speak English CLEARLY - See, you haven't thought of everything but I like your style. Message for Serge Moes, I asked Mr O'Leary for a job, even offered to PAY HIM but no reply so far(probably charge me 50 quid for an interview anyway).

    By Keith Standen, Wednesday, March 18, 2009

  • You ought to apply for a job at Ryanair

    With ideas like yours, I am convinced that you would easily get a job at Ryanair ... have you applied? ;-)

    By Serge Moes, Wednesday, March 18, 2009

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