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easyJet rip-off! PDF
Friday, 22 April 2011 10:30
 

Not content with introducing draconian new rules about the size of your hand luggage and fines to match, easyJet has increased its card booking fee as of this week.

The low-cost airline, established by that nice Greek guy Stelios, that burst onto the scene in the first decade of the 21st Century, always seemed to be more user-friendly and offered a more enjoyable flight experience than its main rival Ryanair.

However, since Stelios was forced out of the top job by a boardroom coup some years back, things seem to have gone from bad to worse, culminating in two shocking decisions recently that will annoy its dwindling client base even more.

First of all they introduced punitive fines for oversized cabin baggage (see  easyJet mimics Ryanair over baggage fines). Then, this week they put up the price of their booking fee for payments by credit and debit card.

To book using a debit card, it will now cost £8 per booking – up from the £5.50 it cost previously. Last September easyJet charged only £3.50 per booking to purchase tickets using a debit card, so this week’s increase means the easyJet charge has more than doubled in a matter of months.

For customers booking with their credit card the new charge is even worse. Under the latest changes it will cost a minimum of £12.95 per booking, up from £8 in September and a minimum of £10.45 yesterday, before the changes.

Despite these rises, easyJet is far from the industry's worst performer. That accolade falls to Ryanair and  its boss Michael O'Leary – who else? They charge a fee of £12 per person for a return flight, whereas easyJet charge per booking. Therefore, a family of four travelling with Ryanair would rack up a total charge of £48 in booking fees against just £8 with easyJet for a similar booking using a debit card.

Andrew McConnell, easyJet's corporate affairs manager, said: 'easyJet can confirm that it has increased its fee per booking [by debit card] ... from £5.50 to £8 with effect from 19 April 2011.

'easyJet is transparent about its card charges, ... [and our] booking fee remains one of the cheapest across the airline industry – with other airlines charging per person per flight so that a family of four would be charged £48 rather than the £8 they would pay on easyJet.'

However, there is expectation that things may be about to change, so that sneaky charges imposed by budget airlines and other companies for card payments may be outlawed after a 'super-complaint' to the Office of Fair Trading by Which?, the UK consumer organisation.

Under current rules, there should always be one way of paying that doesn't incur charges, but airlines use a loophole which allows them to specify little-known payment methods such as Visa Electron to be the free method of payment. EasyJet and rivals, including Bmibaby, Monarch and Thomson, allow free Visa Electron bookings. With Ryanair you have to pay by prepaid Mastercard to be exempt from fees.

Which? argues that the charges are a rip-off as on average it costs 20p per debit card payment, and no more than 2% of the total value for a credit card transaction.

James Daley, editor of Which?, said: 'It's clear that budget airlines know the game is nearly up and are making the most of it while it lasts.

'It shows a shocking disregard for their customers. Our campaign over the last few weeks has seen an unprecedented response – 40,000 have signed an online petition and I can't remember a campaign that has touched such a nerve with consumers.

'It adds insult to injury this easyJet reaction to our campaign. But consumers can take heart that the OFT are looking at booking fees and will have a response by the end of June.

'And airlines reacting this way won't do them any favours with the OFT.'

So, Michael and Stelios (or his successor), the game is up for booking fees ...!

... but I bet you find another way to rip us off before June!

© Paul Whitelock

To read a full article on this topic at www.thisismoney.co.uk, click here

Tags:  rip-off, easyJet, Ryanair, budget airline, low-cost airline, hand luggage, cabin baggage, fine, card booking fee, Stelios, credit card, debit card, Michael O'Leary, Andrew McConnell, card payment, Office of Fair Trading, OFT, Which?, Visa Electron, prepaid Mastercard, James Daley, paul whitelock, www.a1-solutions-spain.com

 

Comments 

 
0 #1 2012-05-02 21:37
furious! I was again robbed by easyjet. I had to change a name on the flight, which should cost £35...both ways! a total of £70..but not content with that an additional £21.60 was charged for what? I have no idea!!!! I will never fly with easyjet or anyother budget airline again! I'd rather pay for a quality carrier and know what i'm getting/letting myself in for...the whole industry is a rip off but the government gets their cut so nothing will happen...I hope eveyone of them go bust and China dictates to the west how business is done...even if that's shit it'll be nice to see the western 'robber barons' squirm under the chinese! Death to western capitalism!!!!
Quote
 

Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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