Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pieces of baggage

Ryanair and the increase in "check-in luggage" fees

Every time I look at the Rynair website, it seems more expensive. Although they were recently forced by the European Union to stop taking the piss and make it clearer that their flights are not really for sale at £0.01, something still doesn’t add up.

Two years ago, the cost of a single check-in luggage item stood around a fiver. Then, in summer 2006 the failed terrorist attacks brought about restrictions on hand luggage, the stuff about transparent bags and puzzled passengers asked to drink their toddler's milk before boarding the plane in case it contained any explosives. Just by chance, it was then that Ryanair started increasing their luggage charges. Officially - and conveniently choosing to gloss over the above mentioned hand luggage restrictions - the company spoke of a mysterious "objective of persuading at least 50 per cent of Ryanair passengers to travel with hand luggage only". It's as if Virgin justified the extortionate price of food on their trains by saying they want to encourage people to have breakfast before they travel.

So keen were Ryanair on their "objective" that luggage fees quickly went up to £8 and then again to £10. At the start of 2008, a cryptic concoction of what is being sold as "bag and airport check-in", makes the cost of a bag currently stand at 15 Euros. Ryanair and similar companies have been moaning like poor sods about unsympathetic legislations, as well as the increases in emission taxes and green taxes - and those have most certainly gone up. Yet how that makes the act of carrying bags three to five times more expensive, is a connection most customers are currently failing to grasp.

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