Skyscanner users have voted hidden charges to be the most annoying aspect of air travel in a recent poll.
Hidden fees charged for things such as checking-in hold baggage, fuel surcharges and booking with a credit card, received 24% of the vote.
Close behind with 23% of the vote, was queuing for security and boarding, followed by lack of seat space (15%), irritating fellow passengers (11%), having to check in so early (8%), bad staff attitude and poor customer service (6%), sitting on the runway waiting to take-off or disembark (4%), having to bus to and from the plane (4%) and waiting for your luggage at the other end (4%).
Skyscanner users also commented on other aspects of air travel they disliked, including: “awful airport food”, “draconian rules of baggage allowances that are only enforced rigidly at UK airports”, the “100ml rule for liquids” and that “flying gives no real sense of scale to your travels”.
Rob Innes, head of marketing for Skyscanner commented:
“It’s incredibly annoying when you see a great flight deal, only to find the actual price is considerably higher once you’ve added all the extras. A transparent pricing system would win more favour with air travellers and avoid them feeling ripped off when they arrive at the checkout page. The good news is that if you study the small print and learn how to avoid the extras, you can still get great deals on flights”.
The result comes shortly after Michael O’Leary confirmed that Ryanair were examining the possibility of charging passengers to use onboard toilets. The press furore that followed the announcement has now led Ryanair to launch a competition inviting customers to suggest new ways it can cash in on ‘ancillary revenues’.
Skyscanner’s suggestions on what airlines could charge extra for:
• Charge a successful landing fee – to be paid upon disembarking the aircraft following a safe touchdown
• Coin operated overhead lockers, window blinds and seat lights
• Charge a premium disembarking fee – pay to get off the plane first
• Fee for releasing oxygen mask, then extra charge per minute of oxygen consumed
• Extra charge for emergency exit seats
• New charge for hand luggage based on weight
• Passenger weigh-in: surcharge of £1 per lb.
• Surcharge for children as they generate less revenue from onboard sales (they can’t buy alcohol)
• Life jacket optional – extra fee if you want one
• Extra charge for newer planes
• Standing room only – extra charge for use of seat
• Extra charge for bookings made through non-English site (to supplement translation costs)
• Charge for using electronic devices onboard
• Charge extra for the captain’s weather forecast at the destination
• Extra charge for having a co-pilot
• Pay pilot minimum wage, but allow them to make money on tips; pass their hat around upon successful landing (see also: successful landing fee)
• Order planes without windows, as they will be cheaper and lighter