Ryanair and our money
They will receive €483 million (about £389 million) as a special one-off dividend. Which is not far short of Ryanair’s declared profit of €503 million. This shows where I have been going wrong. Instead of flying with the company I should have been investing in them!
So what do passengers get from this Ryanair success? Well they have “donated” €886 million (about £714 million) by paying by credit card and being charged; by taking bags and being charged; by booking online and being charged. In fact there aren’t many ways that Ryanair hasn’t managed to add on a bit more so that it can still claim that its basic fares are still cheap. 21% of all its revenue comes from these add-ons.
It moans bitterly at any airport or country that raises landing charges or causes its costs to increase. It removes flights from routes claiming it will not be pushed around by authorities yet it seems to have no compunction to pushing us around.
Can we be charged for much more? The answer seems to be yes as an American airline Spirit Airlines, plans to charge from November, $100 (say £62) to take on board carry-on luggage if you leave it as late as at the gate to buy that. It is also planning a fee of up to $199 if you want to buy in advance what it calls a “Big Front Seat.”
Can this fleecing of the passenger continue much longer?
Maybe that is where there is a glimmer of hope for us poor passengers. Two recent studies compared fares between low-cost airlines and traditional ones on some routes and traditional airlines were cheaper in more cases than previously. It could be that some low-cost airlines will not be able to increase their ability to empty wallets much further or they will lose business to others.