Monday, September 19, 2011

Ryanair's Newest Fee: Shh! Don't Tell the North American Airlines About This One

Devious, but you gotta give them points for creativity.

Ryanair announced at the end of last week that its new partnership with Mastercard will be reinforced with a  fee. Yup another one! Those who don't pay for their flights with a Ryanair-branded, pre-paid Mastercard will incur a 6 GBP (about $9.50) admin fee, per flight leg.

(Photo by Ben Dalton)
I can only assume that this fee is being charged to off-set the mental cruelty that occurs whenever Ryanair's employees have to process a credit card that's not branded with the company name.

Now, to be fair, even with all its fees, Ryanair is often the cheapest option in Europe, bar none. On a summer hop from Dublin to Krakow, with my daughter, I saved a good $300 total by flying with them. And that's after paying a hefty chunk to check bags. The other airlines serving this route were much pricier and had fewer direct flights.

My real worry is that the carriers on this side of the pond will thrill to this new, potential revenue source, and will add it. They've done that in the past with a number of fees that Ryanair and other European airlines have innovated.

Let's hope no airline execs are reading this blog!

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