Budget airlines - pricier than BA?
Filed under: Holidays
New research from a price comparison website claims an average UK family booking can be almost £90 more expensive than going through established carriers like BA or Lufthansa after all the surcharges - booking fees, baggage and priority boarding fees - are slapped on.
Idealo examined flight prices from the usual suspects - Ryanair, Easyjet, plus Germanwings and Norwegian - and compared them with established carriers, including BA, Lufthansa, Air France, Swiss and KLM.
Low cost fibs?
On several short-haul routes - including London-Barcelona and London-Berlin - a family of four saw the ticket price rise almost £30 higher per seat from the so-called 'budget' airline operators.
"The budget airlines only provided the cheapest 'real cost' for one route: London to Alicante," Idealo says. "The other three routes had established network airlines providing the cheapest 'real costs'. From London to Berlin, both Lufthansa and British Airways offered direct flights with 'real costs' that were £51 cheaper per seat than EasyJet and Ryanair.
Ryanair and Easyjet were also slammed for their price transparency - or lack of it. "The worst of the four low-cost carriers in our analysis was EasyJet and Ryanair and by a long shot."
166% cost hike"While the 'real costs' of Norwegian and Germanwings are 24% and 33% higher than the cost per seat from the search engines, those increases are dwarfed by the 92% and 166% cost increases seen when comparing search engine prices for EasyJet and Ryanair to their 'real prices'."
However, it's not completely cut and dried. Budget airlines can still offer good value for money for certain travellers, especially if you're travelling light and you can be flexible on dates.
Still, Idealo claims more than half (53.3%) of the total 'real cost' on Ryanair, for example, can be for luggage. After spending £410 to check-in three bags of 20kg and one of 10kg, a family booking with Ryanair offers 22kg less weight than a family booking with Lufthansa. "This is because every passenger of Lufthansa is allowed to check-in one 23kg bag free of additional charge, including infants," claims Idealo.
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