The sharp end of the airfare revolution

Why I Love/Hate Ryan Air “dealing with low-cost carriers such as RyanAir is like playing a game. In order to play well, you need to know the rules (how much luggage you can carry on, each additional checked bag costs extra, you can’t check-in online if you’re not an EU citizen or you’ll be denied boarding, etc.). Most complaints about the airline come from people who don’t know the rules. So yes, you can be angry that RyanAir’s rules are different from everyone else’s, but you’re not going to get a whole lot of sympathy from me if you don’t know or follow the rules of the game. RyanAir makes a ton of money off of the folks who don’t know the rules.”

Same approach to low cost airlines in Australia and Asia is necessary, as this post on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree

We arrived in Kuala Lumpur from the Gold Coast having allowed one and a half hours to spare for a connecting flight to Thailand.

The plane was half on hour late into KL but by the time we cleared customs and arrived a the check-in for the next Air Asia flight to Bangkok we were told that as we were outside the 45 minutes cut off for boarding we would have to purchase new tickets.

These tickets were offered at almost twice the price we had originally booked on the net. As we were at a low cost terminal well away from the main KL International Terminal we were trapped and had to buy the overpriced tickets.

When we wisely decided that we would also change our booking on the return journey so as to allow more than one and a half hours we were told that this would incur a fee of nearly $80 each just to change the booking! Once again we were at their mercy and had to pay up or risk losing our KL to the Gold coast sector.

All this in the first ” promotional” week of the airline. Another friend had a similar though worse experience this week when his Air Asia X plane was 3 hours late into KL and he consequently missed the connecting flight . Air Asia X made him purchase another ticket.

In each case the supervisor pointed out that as they are ” a point to point carrier” only they had no obligation to help us.

This airline needs to learn some sense of moral obligation and should be avoided at all costs until they have learned this lesson.”

The lesson, of course, is that budget airlines make it your business to ensure that your connections are adaquate, and with lower “on time” reliability rates than most full service carriers you need extra padding built into your itinerary. Budget airlines can be a fantastic way to fly, but they require more homework and the saving isn’t always worth it – if, for instance – you need to factor in the cost of a nights accommodation to ensure that you have a connection you can make. Always make sure your familar with the terms and conditions.

More information on Ryan Air’s online check-in (the free standard) vs counter check-in (3 euros) which is mandatory for non-EU citizens previously from Less Than a Shoestring.

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One response to “The sharp end of the airfare revolution

  1. Pingback: Metablogging: 200 Posts and Counting « Less Than a Shoestring

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