back to article Ryanair faces ban on luggage charge auto-opt-in

Budget airline Ryanair is on a collision course with the European Commission over a proposed ban on opting web customers in to extra luggage and insurance charges by default. Brussels plans to outlaw such practices for all e-commerce websites. Ryanair - well known for charging extra to carry hold luggage, and for its websites …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Internet Check in

    They charge extra to check-in at the counter rather than on the internet (which they require you do a few days earlier), then it tells you, you cannot check-in on the internet if you have hold luggage.

    Hence whatever charge you've been quoted for hold luggage is a false number because it forces the extra charge on the check-in.

    What the EU should do, is slap a huge fine on Ryanair, far bigger than the money they make from these scams, then Ryanair will stop the scams in future. It's as simple as that. Everytime the EU nails Ryanair down on one scam, they come up with another.

    Ryanair subsidised their early fares with the money they received from the airports as a signing up fee, now that they have spent that, they are nickle and dimeing people for money rather than quote the true price up front. Yet the customer needs to see the real price to be able to compare the real fares.

    So the practice has to stop.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Its time someone took the budget airlines to task over their pricing ripoffs - you look online and see a ticket for £10. Then you realise its not including taxes so it becomes £40. Then you want to bring a bag - another £20. Check in at the airport? Another £20. Want to pay by card? Thats another £10. Please note: You CANT NOT pay by card!!

    Its a scam! Why not just advertise the flight for £100 in the first place????

  3. Martin 19

    "return period.. cut from 6 years to 2"

    What time period is reasonable depends on the goods in question, surely?

    Returning a faulty hammer after 6 years might be reasonable, but a pair of shoes maybe 9 months might be the 'reasonable life'.

    /flames, for certain faulty mp3 players and laptops

  4. EvilGav 1

    Returns for 6 years . . .

    . . . i'd love to know anyone who has managed to successfully return and receive a refund for anything over 2 years old in the UK. Most shops refuse to believe you have more than a year, even when confronted with the (current) EU legislation which requires a 2 year guarantee in all member states.

  5. Number6

    Behind the Times

    I've got six years to return dodgy goods? I must have missed that one, I'd always worked on the principle that it was their problem for the first year and mine from then on, with very few exceptions.

    As for Ryanair, caveat emptor. Read the small print, print it out and read it again, then give it to your friend to check as well.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Ryanair faces ban on me!

    I wouldn't fly with that pikey airline if it were the last carrier available.

    They are cheap AND nasty.


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just travel, or all e-commerce?

    So will this apply to just travel, or everything - PC suppliers will have to not bundle anti virus you don't need (or an operating system you don't want)?

    And what's the definition of ecommerce that will apply, given that if you buy something even over the phone, the credit card transaction is an electronic transaction ..... well, so is any card transaction, come to think of it ...

  8. Dale 3

    Stupidity laws

    Another law to protect people from their own stupidity, although I say that with a very large qualification: web retailers *should* be prevented from adding on charges by deception, such as adding them right at the very last minute or burying them in amongst a hundred pages of terms and conditions. Ryanair perhaps does add charges using arguably deceptive practise, but I would be cautious about making a law that blanket bans all automatic add-ons because there might be occasions when it is actually convenient to have them. If add-ons are clearly not deceptive, and people are too lazy or stupid to read what they are clicking, education is what is needed, not laws.

    Personally I would love to see basic life skills being taught in schools - including common money sense like how not spend more than you have (or those few occasions when it is appropriate to do so), and how to read a contract so you don't get suckered.

  9. Sheppy

    About time!

    Maybe they could stop RyanAir charging to use the toilet whilst they are at it!

  10. ElNumbre

    Oh well....

    I'll never fly with them anyway...

  11. The Original Ash

    Glad I spotted this

    I'm flying with Ryan Air to St Petersberg (The accepted destination selection, allowing for pilot error, for Dublin) next month. I'll be sure to check the all of the flight details.

  12. Alasdair S
    Thumb Down

    This can't be right

    I saw Mr O'leary on telly the other night and he said the baggage charge was intended to discourage customers from taking extra luggage making turnarounds quicker. Why would they then opt-in customers? If they want to discourage people from taking extra luggage surely the default should be an opt-out.

    Unless of course Mr O'leary was talking pish.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    what is it with the auto opt-in crooks

    Yeah, you know who you are....

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    6 years?

    We have 6 years to return a faulty good? If only I had kept the receipt!!! As for Ryanair, it seems to cost 5 times as much for your luggage to travel as it does for you. How about the EU setting a minimum amount of luggage to be included in the price. Better still, just fly Easyjet or BA as it will cost you the same in the end but you wont have to travel with the dross.

  15. kissingthecarpet

    And dodgy wording

    like "Don't tick here if you don't want to not opt-out from not opting in to this service"

  16. netean


    I loathe them, they are a horrible company.

    Nothing wrong with budget airlines per se, I've flown easyjet a couple of times and they're ok. Flown Ryanair twice and never again. Just a ghastly, greedy company.

  17. Jaybirduk
    Thumb Up

    Ryan air fan

    Ive had dozens of sub £10 all in flights with Ryanair and love them! - I follow their sneaky rules and pay next to nothing for flights.

    Despite all the moaning they continue to expand so they must be doing something right.

    Forget the days of air hostess wafted thru the cabin with free drinks and food and try to think of Ryanair as a bus service into Europe.

  18. Dan 109
    Thumb Down


    And what about all the other checkout scams:

    £1.00 to receive an SMS booking confirmation? You what?

    £5.00 per passenger, payment handling fee (erm, only 1 payment is made?) You what mate? (unless you pay by visa electron, even their own "Ryanair Visa" etc attract the charge)


  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Bus service? Horse and cart more like but, then again, maybe not as at least the horse and cart would actually get you to the city you are hoping to visit and not dump you 70 miles away at some bus stop in the ass neck of beyond!

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Auto opt-in = bad

    I'm looking at you Scan - Installation insurance auto ticked, you got me once for £1.37, never again.

    Shame on you.

    Air lines should be putting all costs up front, and not add them here and there as you proceed throu the order.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    One fix...

    Bad day to mention this possible senario, but I wouldn't be surprised at a few hoax bomb threats coming Ryan Airs way from disgrruntled passengers. Untill they play the white man.

    Won't reccomend it, though. Unless Ryan Air goes to gitmo.

  22. Olof P

    @ AC 13:55

    Anything that doesn't incur an extra cost on the customer that's not advertised on the first page is fine. It's only if a retailer includes a checked box that you want to purchase anti-virus in addition to the computer you just bought that they'd be in trouble from this. If it's bundled, it's fine.

  23. Stan 2

    Wait a mo

    Is this what things are coming too? If folks are too careless to check the charges when they are set out clearly ,as they are in ryanairs site, then they deserve to get ripped off.

    This nanny state bullshit is getting out of hand, folks are getting so used to having their hands held for them at every turn that they can't see it for themselves when their getting really screwed for day to day stuff, we all know what profit margins are.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ryan air fan

    A bus service where safety isn't the number one priority is not one I would use. An airline where safety isn't the number one priority, I would move as far away from any airport they use (assuming the planes get that far)

    They spend more time selling you shit than ensuring cabin security and I've some friends who work in the aerospace maintenance business and engine maintenance who refuse to fly them.

    Tells me all I need to know.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    EU & Consumer Rights

    Here is where you need to go

  26. Stuart Finlayson
    Thumb Down

    Stop the real rip-offs

    They should focus on some of RyanAir's more serious ways of ripping off consumers. Like charging £5 per person per flight for debit/credit card payments, when typical card processing fees are 2% (£1 on a £50 ticket). Plus the 50p levy imposed so that the company fulfils its legal duty to provide a service to the disabled - one charity reckoned 1p would be closer to the actual costs incurred. And the compulsory £5 fee for online check-in (or you can pay £40 per person per flight for check-in at the airport).

    It's all a scam (and probably against EU rules) so they can claim to offer cheap flights but then add £25 tax and airport fees, £5 surcharge to insure the airline against terrorist attacks, £5 for checking in, £5 for paying for your ticket, £8 for luggage, £10 for getting to stupidly faraway airport, etc.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Alasdair S

    It's a bit of both, they make a big noise about not taking hold luggage so people don't but then try to tricksy them into paying for it anyway. RyanAir win-win: quicker turn arounds and more money.

    Like many others, I would rather walk than use RyanAir.

  28. Linbox

    Fan also

    I fly a lot. Not just the once a year summer holiday. But LOTS. (+100 hours this year so far). I have flown RyanAir about 20 times. Every flight on time. Not a single problem. Not ever.

    The people slagging them off are talking out their arses. As an earlier poster said - it's just a bus service. Get over it.

    Anon13:41 : Get yourself an Electron card - no charges.

  29. Methos

    I'm as confused as an flying elephant that's glued to the ground.

    I'm confused. Whenever I've booked a flight with Ryanair, there is no automatic "opt-in" for the baggage - after the flights are selected, the site presents a page where you enter passenger information and select the number of hold bags and the price. The default is no hold bags, at a cost of £0.00, and the insurance similarly has to be added on that page.

    It's Easyjet who have a default opt-in for a hold bag and insurance (although this has varied in my experience).

  30. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Check (in) again

    I booked 80 flights by Ryanair this spring and insurance and hold baggage were opt-in, unlike EasyJet. Since then Ryanair has installed automatic baggage drop equipment in airports, so it's perfectly possible to check-in online with hold baggage. In fact, I think it's now (or maybe soon) /only/ possible to check in online, with or without hold baggage.

  31. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    They need a slap

    It's that simple they're a bunch of ripoff merchants. Not just for all their hidden compulsory "optional" charges, but also for the fact that they land you so far from your supposed destination that it would be quicker to go by train. Christ knows how they ever get past the trades descriptions act.

    And while we're at it, how does this online check in actually work? You're supposed to check in from home right? So you check in then set off for the airport and get stuck in traffic/cop a puncture/miss your train/whatever, what good is your online check in then? I always thought the point of the check in was so that the knew you were there and good to go, could check your ticket and could check in your baggage. How do they check in your baggage online?

    Click here to upload your suitcase?

    Doing things online isn't about our convenience it's about allowing businesses to cut staff, sorry, "make efficiency savings". We fall for it because the shine hasn't worn off yet. Hopefully it will soon.

    Ever had the experience where you want to do something which the online banking website won't. So you have to ring up and find that the muppet on the other end of the phone can't figure out how to do it either, probably because they've let all the competent staff go since they're not needed any more. Been there last night. Over half an hour on the phone just to move £500 from one place to another. There's an efficiency saving for you, shame I can't charge the idiots for my time. The best bit was I was told I could do it online if I had the extra special super dooper online banking, which came with a different account, which of course either required I deposit a lot more money regularly or pay for the privelege. A bit Ryan Air then.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Customer Service

    Ryanair & Customer Service = the ultimate Oxymoron

  33. Graham Marsden

    @Number 6

    "I've got six years to return dodgy goods?"

    Excuse the slight hijack (oops, maybe the wrong word to use in this thread!) but...

    The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 says that if a fault appears in a product within 6 months it's up to the retailer to prove that the fault was not inherent at time of purchase and if they can't the customer can require repair, replacement or refund. After 6 months and up to 6 years, if the customer can prove the fault was present at time of purchase and it's reasonable for the product to last that long, they can ask for repair, replacement or refund, although the retailer can decline eg repair if such repair would not be economically viable.


    PS @ AC: "We have 6 years to return a faulty good? If only I had kept the receipt!!! "

    If you payed by credit or debit card, a record of the transaction on a statement is sufficient proof of purchase.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Check in with hold luggage

    "Since then Ryanair has installed automatic baggage drop equipment in airports, so it's perfectly possible to check-in online with hold baggage."

    There was no automatic baggage check in available and there was an extra charge. Charleoi in May.

    When I arrived at the airport the queue was long and slow, the man in front was shocked that he'd paid for 3 bags and didn't want to pay the surcharge for the 37kg he had. (3*15 = 45kgs, they sell you 3 bags but not really, it is not 3 * 1 bag allowance, it's 1 bag allowance + 2 empty bags without allowance).

    It's scam after scam after scam with them .

    Lets try to get a fare

    Fare: 1.49 EUR

    Online Check-In: 5.00 EUR

    Taxes / Fees: 15.49 EUR

    Total Price: 21.98 EUR

    Total Cost of Flight 48.27 EUR

    Next page, how many bags? 1 bag 20 euros, 2 bags 60 euros, 3 bags 100

    Next page total, 1 bag 68.27 EUR

    Pay by Visa, now 78.27 EUR, Wait, none of the payment options are free.

    I get charged 5 Euros for WEB check-in.

    2 x (Web Check in) 10.00 EUR... not free!


    Go on excuse them all you like, but the true price should be mentioned up front and Ryanair are a scammer.

  35. jatco

    @Fan Also

    I also fly a lot - too much, really, but it comes with the job.

    I've had hassles with Ryanair just like I have with many other airlines, but the difference is that Ryanair have been the most unpleasant to deal with by far when things have gone wrong. As long as they have your cash, they really don't seem to give a toss.

    The one thing i will credit them with is giving Aer Lingus some competition and thus getting them to lower their prices for the Dublin run. Once I do the sums on the £1.49 flight that really costs £75, the competition usually works out just as cheap if not cheaper...

  36. Anonymous Coward

    RyanAir Toilet Tax

    I always go in those handy paper bags they leave in the seat back pockets.

    It saves me paying their toilet tax.

    Mine's a pint thanks!

  37. Andus McCoatover

    LaGuardia, anyone?

    <<... but also for the fact that they land you so far from your supposed destination that it would be quicker to go by train>>

    May I refer the Honourable Poster to :-

    "The initiative to develop the airport for commercial flights began with a verbal outburst by New York mayor Fiorello La Guardia (in office from 1934 to 1945) upon the arrival of his TWA flight at Newark*—the only commercial airport serving the New York City region at the time—as his ticket said "New York".He demanded to be taken to New York, and ordered the plane to be flown to Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett Field, giving an impromptu press conference to reporters along the way"

    Found (easily) at

    But I'm no mayor. Nor a mare, when it comes to airline travel. Nightmare, possibly. Mule, if I fly Ryanair...

    *Newark's in New Jersey, not New York.

  38. Linbox

    I should be paid by their PR department....

    I smell bullshit. Let's go through the facts shall we;

    Opt-in charges : The website is confusing (and ugly) but it's hardly rocket science to work out. Try reading the screen instead of just clicking wildly you fucktard.

    Card fees: AC22:01 says "There is no payment method that is free". Wrong. You just need to open a (free) bank account that has a Visa Electron card - I got mine from Halifax, opened online. No charges when used on Ryanair. This might involve some forward planning on your behalf, but if that's too much trouble, just pony up the extortionate £16/person that Ryanair charge for using credit/debit cards. How can they justify this cost when the card issuers only charge 1.5%? Who cares! They can do what the fuck they like with their business, what's it got to do with you/govt/EU? If you don't want to pay the fee - book with another airline that hides the cost in the ticket price.

    The airports are miles away from anywhere: Have you ever flown into "London"? Good luck with getting a taxi from Stanstead.... Look, there are some really bad examples of airports where Ryanair actually fly to the middle of nowhere - Rome, Paris and Stockholm to name just a couple of 60-mile examples, but there are also plenty that are perfectly fine. You could walk to the leaning tower from Pisa airport, for example. Just use the interwebs to research the route (again - this requires some effort from you, sorry about that).

    The aircrew are surly and rude : HAHAHAHA! Have you ever flown economy on ANY airline? If you want pleasant, polite and attentive, you'll need to fork out some serious wonga for Business Class or pay through the nose for a "premium" airline like Qatar (best service I've ever had from any airline). I would say that the Ryanair cabinistas are no worse than any other airline's economy staff. Just read the paper/pretend to snooze and ignore them.

    Baggage fees/check-in queues: Invest in a bag 22" x 14" x 9" - there are loads of them on the market because this is the maximum size permitted for cabin baggage by aviation law. If you travel more than once a year, you'll see thousands of people with bags that size (usually on little wheels). Unless you're going for 2-weeks, it's plenty big enough. Having it in the cabin means the airline can't lose it and you don't have to wait around in reclaim. If this kind of forward planning is too much trouble for you, then pay the fees. Is simples.

    Safety: According to the accident ratings (Google is your friend), Ryanair are the 7th safest airline in Europe and the 18th safest in the world. (United = 32, Virgin = 52, AirFrance = 65). Suggesting anything else is just paranoia or FUD.

    They never have any tickets as the cheap price advertised: It's our old friend forward planning again. If you need to fly next week or your days are set in stone then you're screwed. If you book about 3 months in advance and you're flexible on the dates, you'll find cheap tickets no problem.

    Compare & contrast my next RyanAir flight to Venice with Mrs. Linbox at the end of October (booked 6-weeks ago) with what I could have spent just to avoid their hateful website and despicably corrupt charges;

    2x return flights incl. tax/fees/card charges/optional baggage/etc,etc,etc : £34.80

    2x return train tickets actually to venice from the far-flung airport : £17.50

    TOTAL: £52.30

    Lap of luxury "flag carrier" to a closer airport incl. no opt-out extras, lovely website and "free" breakfast/coffee: £293.20

    Taxi from/to airport to city centre: £20.00

    TOTAL: £313.20

    Which leaves a very handy €300 for getting pissed on Valpolicella.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So don't fly with them.

    BA price to fly London > Paris in a couple of weeks, £137 including everything (assuming payment by debit card)

    Heathrow > Charles-de-Gaul, evening flight. - About 22km from central Paris, and has a train.

    Ryanair for the 'closest' similar trip... Doesn't even exist. However, they could fly you to Beauvais, around 90km from central Paris with no real train link, but I can't figure out where from.

    (Oh, and about the Visa Electron payment being free - it's for a 'limited time'. So they'll be charging for that pretty soon.)

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Anyone who flies Ryanair...

    ... is either Irish (they do have cheap flights to/from Ireland that aren't quite so dire), a total moron or works for them.

    There's absolutely no excuse for flying them otherwise.

    I'm sure a VERY small minority of "business travellers" will disagree, but frankly if you're a normal human being that a) needs to get to/from the airport; b) needs clothes; c) doesn't use Visa Electron then Ryanair are extremely poor value for money. To ANYWHERE bar Ireland.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Number6

    'I've got six years to return dodgy goods? I must have missed that one, I'd always worked on the principle that it was their problem for the first year and mine from then on, with very few exceptions.'

    You've missed that one.

    It's always been the case that the Sale of Goods Act has given protection over extended periods of time. The exact definition of durability depends on the item and its expected reasonable lifetime - so a prawn sandwich shouldn't last as long as a hammer.

    Generally you are entitled to a replacement or a repair, but if a repair or replacement is too expensive, or not possible then you are entitled to a refund. In which case your rights to redress are dependent on a number of issues such as the amount of time the object worked perfectly before the fault occurred - if you got 5 years 364 days good service out of the hammer before it broke then you might be expected to settle for smaller amounts of compensation.

    If the goods were faulty at the time of sale you can ask for your money back within a reasonable amount of time (the law does not specify 'reasonable' - but six months would be unusually long unless you can show you were working with the retailer or the manufacturer to resolve the issue until then).

    For the first six months the retailer has to demonstrate that the goods were fit for purpose when sold - the presumption is that there was a defect and the customer is entitled to a refund. After six months, the burden of proof falls on the consumer who must show there is a problem.

    And don't confuse your statutory rights (those given in law under SoGA and the Goods and Services Act etc.) with the manufacturer's warranty which is given in ADDITION to those protections.

    As with all these things, if you're in any doubt about a contract and your rights under it - call your local trading standards office.

  42. Ian Tunnacliffe

    Grow Up People

    Every time El Reg runs a Ryanair story we get comment threads like this.

    The whole airline industry has more capacity than the economy can sensibly support at economic prices. The reasons for this are many and complex but it's a fact.

    As a result airlines are unable to charge fares that enable them to make a return on capital invested while operating a "normal" service. The rational response to this would be for airlines to merge or go out of business but in practice that hardly ever happens and the industry continues with over-capacity.

    So in one way or another airlines try to make so-called "ancillary revenue" to try to bridge the black hole in their finances. Ryanair is the best in the world at the ancillary revenue caper. Something like 25% of its revenues are ancillaries (That's from memory. If I were wider awake I woudl look it up.) Other airlines look at Ryanair as a leader in this respect but they don't have the sheer brass neck to take things quite as far.

    In the end Ryanair is just doing more of what almost all airlines are doing less successfully. It is the most profitable airline in the world so it's hard to argue from a shareholder point of view that what it does is wrong. From the consumer point of view there is always the option of not flying with them.

    In my personal experience Ryanair's on-time performance is better than Easyjet but where possible I avoid flying either of them. It's usually possible to fly with a more "traditional" airline for a little more money. Then it's a simple economic decision. Is the extra discomfort and annoyance with the ten or twenty quid I could save? For me the answer is usually no, but I fully understand why others may come to a different conclusion.

  43. Gulfie

    Yes, I'd rather walk...

    Flown twice with Ryanair. First time, somebody had been sick at the front of the plane on the previous flight and the crew had not cleaned it up because there was 'insufficient time during turnaround'. Smell wafted back down the plan for the entire two hour flight, lovely.

    Second time the plane was only 1/4 full so the crew roped off most of the seats and insisted that we all sit crammed together over the wing to save fuel.

    Never, never, never again. Vote with your feet when the service is crap.

  44. David John Walsh

    @Yes I'd rather walk...# (14/9/9 07:43)

    Point #1

    Completely valid

    Point #2 - Why should they not insist where you sit, its their plane and saving fuel will both reduce the effect of the environmental impact alongside allowing them to pass the savings onto the customer.....

    .......... ok enough sudo PR bull (thou I stand by my planes should fly using the least amount of fuel as thats good sense) ........... we get it - theres a vast majority of El Reggys who don't want to use Ryanair...... solution - don't

    Flown with them once years and years ago - seen worse on huge airline.... at the end of the day 99% I want to get from A to B .... they are short haul carriers (just) and I find the whole problem is with those that come home moaning that their "entire" holiday / trip was ruined because of a 5 min incident.

    IF that 5 min incident was loss of life, limb or fruit of the loom I could understand but a bad plane journey..... my holidays start when i check into the hotel room and finish when i check out - the rest is annoying travel.

    Badgers - I just love the icon... its my staple

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