Azara Blog: The BBC complains about the Ryanair business model

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Date published: 2008/05/05

The BBC says:

Ryanair is to increase its check-in charges by £1 to £4 per passenger and by £2 to £8 per bag from Tuesday to try and reduce its airport costs.

The Irish no frills airline is encouraging travellers to check-in online and take only hand luggage.
Many Ryanair passengers will find that they pay more in taxes, fees and charges than for the flight itself.

To take one example, an early one-way flight from London Stansted to Dublin on Saturday 10 May is currently advertised at £14.99.

On top of that, passengers will pay £19.75 in taxes and fees.

In addition, there's £4.37 for aviation insurance and the "wheelchair levy".

If you want to check-in in person at the airport, that will cost you an extra £4 from Tuesday.

And for every piece of luggage you want to check-in, add £8.

Plus, at the end of the transaction, you will be charged £3 if you pay by credit card or £1 by debit card.

So, if you travelled to Dublin on Saturday with two pieces of luggage, you could end up paying an additional £47.12 on top of your £14.99 flight.

Ryanair has optimised the model that says you get what you pay for, no more and no less. Indeed, this is the model that economists would probably claim is best for the world (whether it is or not). But it's disingenuous of the BBC to complain about this fact. Especially when the BBC complains that passengers can "pay more in taxes, fees and charges than for the flight itself". The largest chunk of that cost is for taxes and fees, which the BBC knows full well Ryanair can do nothing about. Indeed, the academic middle class people who work for the BBC constantly agitate for airplane taxes to be increased even more (saving the world, and all that), so it's doubly disingenuous of the BBC to run with this argument. But never let facts get in the way of a good story.

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