Budget airlines Ryanair and Easyjet make as much as ?2.6 billion per year from extras that customers pay for flights according to a new study.
Extra costs such as luggage, leg room, using a credit card and choosing their own seat cost customers the astronomical sum every year according to US analysts IdeaWorksCompany and CarTrawler.
The study found that ‘ancillary revenue’ earned by airlines will reach $82.2 BILLION in 2017, an increase of 264 per cent on their first estimate made in 2010.
‘Ancillary revenue’ was described as ‘activities and services that yield revenue for airlines beyond the simple transportation of customers from A to B.’ This can include everything from ‘commissions gained from hotel bookings, the sale of frequent flyer miles to partners, and the provision of a la carte services’.
These extras often prompt complaints from passengers who feel that the true costs of flying are hidden instead of being included in a straightforward headline flight price.
Ryanair, for example, achieved an increase of 13 per cent in ancillary revenue, which according to the Daily Mail includes ?11 per seat for leg room, ?7 for front seats, ?15 to reprint a boarding pass, ?50 to check-in at the airport instead of online, ?20 for an infant under two-years-old and at least ?5 for priority boarding.
Easyjet also make many extra charges, including ?30 for sports equipment, ?50 for musical instruments, at least ?60 to change a flight or ?110 to change a name and even ?50 for ‘therapeutic oxygen’, which brings a whole new meaning to the song ‘All I need is the air that I breath’.
The study found ancillary revenue to now account for more than 10 per cent of all revenue in the airline industry.
Guy Anker, from Moneysavingexpert, commented: ‘Airlines are more explicit than they were a few years ago and these charges are no longer hidden. But they are still incredibly frustrating for passengers.’