CHEAP flight sites are ripping off Brits by up to €125 million a year.
Discount travel sites, such as eDreams, Opodo, CheapOair and Ebookers, lure in customers with deals that undercut airlines’ own prices.
But in reality, unavoidable costs make ticket prices soar to almost double the original advertised price.
Once you take into account additional costs for luggage fees and admin, final prices are almost always more than that offered by the airline itself.
Many sites use additional trickery to up the costs, such as offering a ticket at one price, but only if the customer uses an unusual card such as a Mastercard debit card – only held by one in 100 Brits.
On average, these price hikes average €25 per person for a one-way trip, which totals €125 million from British travellers every year.
But this is not just a problem for the low-cost airlines, also affecting flag carriers like British Airways.
The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority is investigating and is believed to be nearing a ruling on unscrupulous pricing.
An airline insider said: “It will never be cheaper to book via an online travel agent compared to a genuine airline.”
- Gatwick-Malaga: To fly with EasyJet costs €83.73. The initial price from eDreams is €81.48, the final cost is €112.42. Difference – €28.70
- Stansted-Malta: To fly with RyanAir costs €84.99. The initial price from CheapOair is €84.99, the final cost is €113.74. Difference – €28.75
- Manchester-Palma: To fly with EasyJet costs €86.24. The initial price from Ebookers is €103.74, the final cost is €103.74. Difference – €17.50
I cant see what the fuss is all about. If people are stupid enough to not check prices quoted by agents with those of the airline, they have only themselves to blame. It’s often the same with hotels.
Agree with you Paladin. We also compare the various bargain sites as well as there can be differences, whereas some just redirect you to the airlines web site. Same with hotels and car hire, always check the hotel or car company’s own prices. Sometimes the bargain sites can be better. A few years ago we flew to NZ First Class booked through an agent cheaper than the airline was asking for economy seats on the same plane.
Last night I wanted to book bristol malaga I went on sky scanner and was quoted £130 return, I had an email from ebookers promoting there site so 7 looked on there and was quoted £121 so I continued on tge site to payment they then added £2.80 credit card charges which I thought was ok then £9.00handling charge and £18 ticket charge so I promptly aborted the purchas and returned to skyscanner which takes you directly to Ryanair and paid £130 plus £3.00 credit card charge.