Today, a new low-cost airline was announced to be entering this faltering industry. SkySave promises to undercut its rivals with budget flights, but we’re left wondering whether the whole thing is just a big joke.
The day after we had a good old laugh about RyanAir’s so-called ‘compensation levy‘, we’ve been hit by a whopper.
A new airline has chosen to brave the industry, offering cheap flights across Europe that will let you ‘save as you fly’ (nice strapline) with prices as cheap as 50p.
From that headline price I’m sure you’ve already guessed that this is a ‘no frills’ airline. Yes, you won’t find any exotic booze on your trip to Magaluf with SkySave. In fact, you’d be lucky to get a glass of water – the airline asks all passengers to buy their refreshments from its very own chain of shops, SkySnack, before they board the plane.
SkySave says that this helps the airline economise on on-board space, letting it increase the amount of seats on every plane and keep ticket prices low.
Saving space saves money
However, this space-saving exercise doesn’t end there. We’ve been left absolutely speechless by this next little ditty. In fact, I can’t bring myself to put it into words, so I’ll just leave it to SkySave spokesperson Shirley Nielsen to break the news:
‘As most of our flights are shorter than three hours, passengers are unlikely to need personal items during the flight. Our planes do not have overhead luggage compartments, which means we can carry more people than our competitors. Luxury beds in the overhead space can be purchased for an extra £69.’
What Shirley forgot to mention is that you can still put luggage in the hold, but it’ll cost you an extra £19.99 for a bag no heavier than 10kg. If your luggage weighs more than this, SkySave won’t let you take it on board. Instead it’ll happily store your extra luggage in its own-branded airport lockers (SkyLockers) at a cost of £9.99 per day. You can collect it when you return.
Unsurprisingly, all bookings must be made online, where you’ll be charged a premium of £7.99 for an aisle seat, or £6.99 for a window seat (unless it’s over the wing, which will get you a £2 discount). Middle seats will ‘only’ cost an extra £3.99. A seat near the plane’s one and only toilet will set you back even more.
These ridiculous surcharges continue
If you weren’t already convinced that our surcharges super complaint was a worthy cause, these next charges will hit you where it hurts. Checking-in online will come with a £5 charge, but if you forget to do this you’ll be hit with a mind-boggling £50 to check-in at the airport.
We won’t even mention the greedy debit and credit card charges. But we are impressed by the originality of its next cost-saving scheme. SkySave won’t perform security checks for the majority of its flights. But if customers are concerned about terrorism, they can purchase a ‘premium safety upgrade’ which will let them board a SkyPlus aircraft, on which all passengers have been screened.
Our very own Louise Hanson was shocked by the extent of SkySave’s extra charges:
‘This is the worst example we’ve seen of airlines hiding costs from their passengers. The launch of SkySave shows that there’s more reason than ever for Which? to keep the pressure on airline surcharges. Can it really be so hard for companies to tell customers the cost up front?’
Will you be flying with SkySave or are you left scratching your head in disbelief?