How you’ll pay for avoid­ing BA strike

Daily Mail - - Money Mail - By James Coney j.coney@dai­ly­mail.co.uk

FAM­I­LIES try­ing to avoid the Bri­tish Air­ways strike chaos this sum­mer are fac­ing a bar­rage of hid­den charges that could send their hol­i­day travel costs soar­ing by up to 25 pc.

The whop­ping fees are adding up to £200 to the flight costs for those fam­i­lies who want to take only one bag each and sit next to each other on the plane.

But those who bust their lug­gage al­lowance or for­get to book in their bags be­fore they travel could be hit with as much as £480 ex­tra each way.

The ex­clu­sive re­search for Money Mail by Trav­el­su­per­mar­ket.com shows how the cost of book­ing a hol­i­day quickly stacks up for fam­i­lies.

They are faced with a dilemma this sum­mer. Bri­tish Air­ways is the only air­line that does not charge ex­tras on an or­di­nary book­ing — though any­one pay­ing by credit card faces a £4.50 charge per ticket.

So fam­i­lies un­cer­tain over fu­ture dis­rup­tion from BA strikes are turn­ing to the bud­get air­lines. The last sched­uled strike of 20 days is due to fin­ish to­day. But the Unite trade union has said it could bal­lot mem­bers again for fur­ther strikes.

To cap­i­talise on this, last week Ryanair an­nounced it was hik­ing the cost of putting bag­gage in the hold on its flights by a third.

Any­one trav­el­ling in July and Au­gust and want­ing to put a bag in the hold on one of its flights will pay £20 in­stead of the cur­rent £15.

For the full ta­ble of Ryanair price in­creases, visit www.thi­sis­money.co.uk/fly

And it is Ryanair that has the high­est hid­den charges. For flights to Malaga in Spain, a fam­ily of two adults and two chil­dren un­der 12 would pay £80 to put one item each of lug­gage in the hold, £40 to check in on­line, and £ 32 for pri­or­ity board­ing to en­sure that mums and dads can sit next to their chil­dren. They would also pay £40 for the plea­sure of book­ing — a grand to­tal of £192. The cost of the flights, though, is just £792.

Next most ex­pen­sive is Jet2 with hid­den charges of £205.88. Bmibaby added an ex­tra £ 191.96, and easyJet £174. Bri­tish Air­ways had no hid­den charges, but there is the credit card fee.

Bob Atkin­son, travel ex­pert with Travel su­per­mar­ket, says: ‘These air­lines rely on you be­ing sucked in by the head­line price.

‘But the price on the front of their web­site is of­ten a lot dif­fer­ent to what you will get once all the costs have been added up. Woe be­tide any­one who for­gets to check a bag in on­line or tick one of the boxes for these air­lines, as your costs will soon stack up. It can place a real dent i n your hol­i­day bud­get.’ The way bud­get air­lines charge trav­ellers for ba­sic ser­vices is in­creas­ingly baf­fling. Ryanair and Jet2 both charge for on­line book­ing — and then dou­ble for check­ing in at the air­port or through a call cen­tre. Bmibaby does not levy a charge for check­ing in on­line, but does at the air­port.

Pri­or­ity board­ing and seat reser­va­tions are also lu­cra­tive. For fam­i­lies with young chil­dren, this is a must, as they fear be­ing sep­a­rated on the plane dur­ing the rush for board­ing.

BA does not charge, but the oth­ers, such as easyJet, levy a fee of up to £9 per pas­sen­ger each way — a mas­sive £72 for re­turn flights for four peo­ple.

And trav­ellers that make a mis­take and fail to check-in in on­line, book hold lug­gage or take an ex­tra bag will be hit with in­creas­ingly high charges.

The new Ryanair f ees mean check­ing in a sec­ond bag at the air­port costs £80 each way.

Ryanair claims the higher fees are de­signed to in­cen­tivise peo­ple to take as l i ttle lug­gage as pos­si­ble.

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