Friday, September 30, 2011

Is Ryanair's latest move so bad?

Ryanair and its boss, the charming Michael O'Leary (left), are hardly ever out of the news. Recently its their debit and credit card charges that have been in the news.

I posted about about ways to avoid Ryanair's card charges but it seems the goalposts have moved and now you can only avoid the £6 each way charge (per passenger) by using a Ryanair prepaid debit card.

These have to be charged up prior to use and there is a monthly £2 charge on them if they are not used. Well worth getting though if you book Ryanair a lot like me. The full story if you missed it is here:

Much of the press was negative focusing on the £2 charge and the fact that everyone who got one of the cards that previously avoided the charge is now left high and dry. One article talked about "fury" and another "hefty" fees.

But is this fair? Lots of other sites and not just airlines charge fees for card use and by getting this free card you can avoid them on The monthly charge can easily be avoided by occasional use and they are free to load up with money.

I ordered one and it was all very straightforward except that ironically enough there was a hidden "card purchase fee" of £6 added to the bill.

There is a strong antipathy toward the airline. The internet is full of "hate ryanair" groups and "ryanair evil" blogs. I liked the Facebook group where someone was so incensed they said "they should have all of their planes' tires slashed". Slightly odd thing to hope for.

I have had my run ins with them but they have done more than anyone else to make air travel cheap and their money-making schemes often work in the customers' favour - like online check in. Give them a break?

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