How you’ll pay for avoiding BA strike
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.