Ryanair and easyjet rapped for opting-in passengers
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Opting in and out of marketing material is a pain in the backside, but at least it won't cost you money. Purchase a flight from a budget airline however, and those options may mean getting caught out and paying for the privilege. Need insurance? Nope, but the website has automatically decided you do, ensuring you have to opt out of buying it. And is that budget flight looking slightly less appealing once you pay a credit card handling fee per person, per flight?
Seems we're getting taken for a ride, and that's before we get on board the plane. According to out-law.com, both Ryanair and easyJet are failing to comply with European laws that ban pre-checked boxes on websites that sell flight tickets.
Ryanair.com adds a £6 charge for priority boarding, unless the option is actively unselected, as well as £8.38 for insurance for a domestic return flight. On easyJet's website, you're paying £6 each-way fee for hold baggage and £9.25 for insurance unless you unselect the options.
Out-law.com also highlight the card handling fee levied by both airlines. For both sites, unless you book your flights with a Visa Electron card, you'll pay a handling fee. For Ryanair, this means an additional cost of £4 per person, per flight. For a family of four, that's an additional £32. Ouch.
There's every chance you haven't got a Visa Electron card, and with good reason; they're aimed at, though not restricted to, people under 18 years of age, and they only account for under 6 million of the 145 million credit and debit cards in the UK. Ryanair allows children aged 14 to 17 to travel alone, but they can't check-in online. Curious and curiouser.
It may seem you've encountered the irresistible force paradox (look it up), but oh no. We've had a hunt around on your behalf; while some banks no longer issue Visa Electron cards, you can open an Easycash account with Halifax and have one as your standard debit card. Hopefully it's a hack that'll help you keep those low cost flights low cost.