When it comes to air travel it seems that, although we complain about hidden charges, the budget airlines are gradually educating travellers to accept such charges for services that were once part of the headline flight price, according to new research released by BDRC Continental. 

Budget airline travellers stressed more than anything else that they would like to see fewer hidden charges added to their ticket, yet budget airlines are still managing to convince customers that paying extra for an ever-widening range of services is acceptable.

Carried out in January, the survey asked travellers what extra charges are acceptable once they had paid for the flight. And the results suggest that some customers are prepared to pay for almost anything. Some 66% now think it acceptable to be charged for an extra item of hand luggage, 61% consider it appropriate to ask people to dig a little deeper in their pockets for priority boarding and 53% would accept the principle of additional charges for seat reservations.

There are now also significant numbers who feel it is acceptable to be charged for the privilege of being checked in by a member of staff (25%), to check in a bag at all (18%) and to pay for a ticket via a credit (26%) or debit card (15%) -see chart below.

When purchasing airline tickets extras are often charged separately. Which of these do you think are acceptable to charge for as extras on your ticket price?

66%

An extra item of hand luggage

61%

Priority boarding

53%

A seat reservation charge

50%

Surcharge on people over a certain weight

29%

A carbon off-setting charge

27%

Assistance to aircraft if have mobility problems

26%

Paying for ticket on a credit card charge

25%

To be checked in via a member of staff

18%

To check in a bag

15%

Paying for ticket on a debit card  

Source: BDRC Continental (Q19) Base: All 20-64 year old online users (1005)

 

Who would have thought five years ago that a quarter of us would now find it acceptable to pay extra just to be checked in?  We all like to moan about these charges for 'extras', but the fact is those of us looking for bargain flights still look at the headline flight price when choosing an airline and neither have the time nor inclination to work out the final amount you end up being charged. The fact that this unbundling of flight charges seems to be increasingly accepted by the public suggests that this practice is only likely to become more commonplace.


So, how do these additional charges add up?


An extra item of hand luggage

From £6.50 to £70 each way

Priority boarding

From £4 to £16

A seat reservation charge

From £4.50 to £10

A carbon off-setting charge

Depending on flight distance – (e.g. flight from LGW to Alicante = £3.12 per passenger)

Paying for ticket on a credit card charge

From 2.5% of transaction to £10

To be checked in via a member of staff

From £6 to £80

To check in a bag

From £8 to £15

Paying for ticket on a debit card

From £2.95  to £10  

 

So, in essence, a traveller could be paying in the region of an extra £284.12 on top of the ticket price - not such a budget conscious option after all.

We don’t even generally like travelling on budget airlines, with the survey finding that 49% of those with an opinion of budget airlines had not enjoyed their experience, compared with only 23% among scheduled airline travellers. However, further lowering prices seems to trump all quality measures when it comes to aspects that the public would like to see improved for both budget and scheduled airlines. 

 

 

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