Book a flight with Ryanair today and you’ll see a new compulsory charge. The no-frills airline now wants you to pay an extra £2 each way to cover the cost of cancellations and delays that are ‘outside of its control’.
Under EU regulations, if flights are cancelled or severely delayed, airlines must pay out for everything from refunds to passengers’ accommodation. They even have to do this when flights are grounded due to events like last year’s ash cloud crisis and snow.
Ryanair’s fed up with forking out for things that aren’t its fault, which has led to this travel industry pioneer being the first to introduce a specific levy to recoup these costs.
Is EU legislation hard on airlines?
I can see why airlines might say that the EU legislation is unfair on them. Perhaps it should be insurers who cover passengers’ extra costs?
Nevertheless, airlines know that these kinds of events can happen and so they should prepare for it. They may not like it, but this is the law, and they can no doubt insure themselves for events out of their control.
But surely this levy should be factored into this no-frills carrier’s overall fare? Otherwise, where do you stop? You may as well add a separate fee for ‘staff wages’. Why not just add it to your headline price Ryanair?
Ryanair makes a point of saying that, unlike many of its rivals, it doesn’t levy a fuel surcharge on passengers. But isn’t this new levy just an alternative way of raising fares while blaming someone else?
It’ll be interesting to see if any other carriers follow suit – I doubt it. Easyjet’s already come out to say it won’t be imposing such a levy and Flybe has accused Ryanair of using the charge as a “thinly disguised fuel levy”.
Good news for stranded passengers?
Last year, Ryanair dragged its heels over paying passengers who had been stuck during the ash cloud crisis what they were due. So if travellers are now shelling out for this upfront, there should be no squabbling or delaying of payment next time another crisis grounds flights. I’d expect a proper refund service from the company now.
Are you annoyed by the ever-growing list of compulsory airline fees separated from the initial fare, or do you find it useful knowing how much all these separate charges cost? And do you think Ryanair can justify a so-called ‘compensation levy’?