Opinion

Airfares to rise?

The days - for many - of flying business class are long gone. Indeed many going anywhere on business fly with the budget airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair. 

It shouldn't take much to remind readers that the budget carriers are renown for pricing strategies that mean that the price you initially see is quite removed from the price you pay once booking fees, luggage, airport check-in and credit card fees are added on top. Interestingly, some of the premium carriers add fees too - Virgin for example, adds 1.5 per cent for using a credit card to pay.

Following a super-complaint from Which? the Office of Fair Trading is considering an investigation into the practice. Further, Europe is mulling over banning this form of pricing across the whole of Europe; the EU Transport Committee chairman, and Labour MEP, Brian Simpson has asked the European Commission to force airlines to use a single price for each ticket.

But is this a good thing? Well whilst it may make the pricing of a ticket more transparent, it could push up the overall cost of flying from A to B as airlines offer fewer cheap tickets or they find other ways of charging more. Remember the alleged plan of Ryanair to charge for using the toilet...

This was first published in June 2011

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