How much airlines have raised in the past few years in total from charging bag fees I don’t know – but it must be a seriously big number (anybody got an estimate?). It has become a crucial revenue stream for many carriers.
Ryanair was at the vanguard of the bag fee revolution and is now looking once again to bag charges to make up for lost revenue in other areas.
This time the cash drain is simple – Ryanair’s average fares have dropped by 20% this year, from €40 to €32. Ryanair says this will ”save” its 67 million passengers over €530 million in a year.
To compensate for these “savings” Ryanair is hiking its bag fees. That is not new. The carrier has been clear it will continue to raise bag fees to discourage checked luggage to help it reduce turnaround times.
The big sting this time is that Ryanair is allowing a second checked bag – which in itself seems a contrarian move - for the princely sum of €35 if booked online, or a collosal €70 if paid at the airport.
From October the airline is increasing its checked fees as well, by €5 to €10 depending on whether it is booked online or at the terminal.
As the airline says: “All passengers can avoid these optional checked in baggage fees by travelling with carry on baggage only.” The airline says over 70% of its travellers do this.
For those of you who have to check baggage, the cost is steep, but you know what you are getting.
Just don’t even think about waiting until you get to the airport to work any of this out – that will cost you a packet.
Mind you, Ryanair management won’t be complaining too much. They’ll just call you a dimwit for not checking it out beforehand. And congratulate you at the same time for choosing the world’s cheapest airline.