Thursday, 22 January 2009

easyJet - transaction charges

On the issue of credit card transaction charges, thumbs up on the other hand to Ryanair low cost airline rivals easyJet. Today I booked summer holiday flights to Athens and when I arrived at the payment screen the charge for paying by credit card was a flat rate of £1.70 plus 2.5% of the cost of the tickets. This is so much more equitable than the Ryanair scam and almost completely in line with the advice from the banks in respect of transaction charges. The total transaction charge was £9.00 on a £280 fare compared with the massive £50 that I had paid two days previously with Ryanair on a £275.00 fare.

I would probably book with easyJet more often in preference to Ryanair but to be honest the only thing that really matters at the end of the transaction is the total price to be paid and in most cases even with the deceit charge Ryanair is generally cheaper.

So what am I complaining about then? Well, it’s a matter of principle, Ryanair are being dishonest and I question therefore their business ethics and their respect for the customers.

The reason that easyJet are generally more expensive is that while the two airlines share a common business idea, easyJet's strategy differs from Ryanair's in a number of areas. easyJet flies mainly to primary airports in the cities that it serves, while Ryanair often chooses secondary airports to reduce costs. For example, easyJet flies to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris Orly, the primary airports in Paris, while Ryanair flies to the smaller Paris Beauvais Tillé Airport, which is a seventy-five minute bus journey from the French capital city.

Out of the way airports do not really matter to me and are not necessarily a deciding factor in selecting a location because generally I find in more cost effective to hire a car and stay in a cheaper hotel in a nearby town rather than stay in expensive city centres. This worked well recently in Carmona near Seville and in Vila do Conde near Porto both of which had the benefits of a quieter location, better hotels than I could really afford in the city and with excellent transport links for visiting the major attraction.

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