Ryanair passengers face 'compensation levy' charge

Caroline Cassidy

When Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary suggested that his budget airline may start charging customers to use the toilet aboard its aircraft, many thought he was joking. But we're beginning to wonder just how far he's willing to go to claw back money on those tempting cheap flights.

Ryanair to charge 'compensation levy'
Ryanair to charge 'compensation levy'

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As of April 4, all passengers travelling with the airline will face a £2 per person "compensation levy" when booking a flight. The charge will, says Ryanair, fund the cost of "unfair and discriminatory" payouts to customers whose flights have been delayed or cancelled.

The company claims it has lost around £87 million thanks to cancellations and delays but insisted that most of those arose thanks to "in three periods during which Ryanair was prevented from flying by the failure/inaction of third parties".

Arguing that cancellations stemming from last year's volcanic ash cloud, air traffic control strikes in Europe and the heavy snow before Christmas were the fault of "third parties", the airline said it would be forced to pass the costs resulting from such situations onto the passenger.

It suggested that passenger compensation regulations should be "amended to relieve airlines of the burden of providing care in cases where the cancellations and/or delays are clearly not the responsibility or the fault of the airlines".

However, critics have suggested that Ryanair is simply attempting to cover its rising fuel costs.

A spokesman for Flybe told the Daily Mail: "We note with interest Ryanair's move to increase its ticket prices. Whatever they might be saying in public, anyone with even a modicum of knowledge of the aviation industry knows this is a smokescreen to cover their spiralling fuel costs and is a very thinly disguised fuel surcharge."

Meanwhile Bob Atkinson from travelsupermarket.com suggested that the "levy" should simply be included as part of the ticket price.

Of course, regular Ryanair customers will be well aware of the airline's 'hidden charges' - lured by the cheap ticket prices, passengers must pay £30 to put a case in the hold, £5 to pay with a credit or debit card (per person, per flight), £5 to check in online and £20 to check in at the airport.

And after all that, will passengers even notice an extra £2?

What do you think? Are you happy to pay Ryanair's extra charges or should they be included in the ticket price? Leave a comment below...