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Bits: Luxury Travel Diary auctions, join a class action against Ryanair

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News in brief:

Luxury Travel Diary auctions

The Luxury Travel Diary site dropped me a line about another wave of its luxury auctions closing this week.  These are often worth a look as there are often deals to be had.

The UK focussed offers are here.  I also liked the look of this Four Seasons Marrakech package as the hotel is very well regarded, although that one runs into late June.  As usual, it is worth having a look to see if anything takes your fancy.

Flyers wanted to join a class action against Ryanair

CaseHub is a legal start-up which builds consumer ‘class actions’ online. It takes unfair practices to court, with the purpose of getting everyone who joins the lawsuit a payout as well as setting legal precedent to force industry practices to change.

The company see the airline industry as ripe targets, citing excessive administration fees, arduous cancellation penalties and abuses of fuel surcharges.  CaseHub intents to use a ‘group claim’ format to enable these disputes to be brought before the courts.

Perhaps not surprisingly, their first case is against Ryanair’s various fees for checking-in, boarding pass printing and name changes.  CaseHub is working with Joseph Dalby SC to bring a claim on behalf of anyone charged these fees in the last six years. If CaseHub wins, you would be able to reclaim any of these fees which you had paid to Ryanair over that period.

CaseHub is looking for 75,000 people who have flown Ryanair since 2011 and were charged one of firms more obscure fees.  You submit information about the fees you paid and assign the claim to the firm.  It operates on a ‘no win, no fee’ model which will cost you 35% of the value of your claim if successful.

Comments (82)

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  • Rik says:

    Folk saying they have no case due to fees being published upfront, etc. – the same was true of banking fees, but the OFT brought a case against the banks as they considered the charges to be unfair, irrespective of the fact customers were made aware of them. As it happened, the case ultimately went the banks’ way, but it did bring about behavioral changes, e.g. unauthorised overdraft charges now average £10 whereas they used to be more like £40.

  • Matt W says:

    The Casehub thing certainly looks like money farming for lawyers – on the Ryanair one it looks as if they stand to bring in a couple of million Euro.

    ON the BA one they are working with a Consumer Campaign called Fair Finance that seems to be incorporated as a Limited Liability Partnership, which offers consultancy services to companies wanting ‘simple’ T&Cs. Not at all transparent, and asking for a Despatches investigation.

  • Lady London says:

    I believe Ryanair employ a raft of very good (and very busy!) lawyers.

    I’ll really enjoy watching this, and wouldn’t bet Ryanair wouldn’t win.

    They have treated me abominably, illegal and immorally in the past and I refuse to set foot on a plane of their again. If I had to go to Ireland and they were the last airline left standing, I’d sooner swim than fly them.

  • Daz says:

    Game Theory suggests we are an inherent greedy animal.

    So fly Ryan “pants” Air for 3 goats and a farthing and induce stressful flying, sitting next to a bevvied muppet with a squeaky voice. Or spend a bit more and reduce the risk. Its how much you want that deal, if you consider it that.

    • Mark says:

      How much did your 3 goats cost last time you bought any?

      • Daz says:

        They cost me two Priority Pass cards without my Amex plat details. Deal?

  • Wally1976 says:

    Oh right, thanks Rob. They were rubbish payers anyway!

  • harry says:

    Going back to food on BA

    I think cutting free food on short haul should get the cabin crew worried. Not because they’ll actually have to sell up & handle the orders & money.

    But because the right strategy would be to go upmarket a bit, ie RA/ EJ +25% on food prices, the passengers get a better offering but have to pay for it. It immediately cuts out demand as people realise you don’t need to eat on a 2 hour journey if it’s expensive – or simply bring your own from home – or the WHS/ Boots meal deal airside.

    Nice opportunity to cut out another member of cabin crew, BA are overstaffed compared to the LCCs.

    Unfortunately I can’t see free booze continuing.

    • harry says:

      Long haul?

      ‘Cruz’s boss, Willie Walsh, the chief executive of IAG, recently told the Guardian that he was an admirer of low-cost, long-haul operator Norwegian, which charges transatlantic passengers £28 for a pre-ordered meal service or £10-11 for fresh food from the trolley. “There appears to be consumer acceptance of that … that if you want a meal on a long-haul flight, you’re going to have to pay for it. We’ll see what happens.” ‘

      • harry says:

        Been reading some newspaper comments, this one’s a corker! 🙂

        NeilPeel 20m ago
        I’ve got almost 50k airmiles and have been trying to use them for 3 years. I’ve never been able to spend them when I wanted to – and they run out at the end of this year..
        Pathetic, BA…

    • Rob says:

      BA is understaffed. Easy has 4, BA 3 – of which 1 is CW.

      • harry says:

        Not on our Euro route, I guess you need the aircraft type, I will try & get it on 27th or can I find it on my booking somehow? Not my forte nor my interest but it’s definitely 4 cabin crew minimum, 1 for CW, 3 for ET.

        Maybe max 6 x 30 = 180 pax give or take 12, obv fewer as CW is max 4 in a row

  • harry says:

    Are fares now the only difference between BA and Ryanair?
    While British Airways insists that news it will start charging for in-flight meals is just speculation, it has stopped short of an outright denial.

    The move, should it transpire, will come as little suprise, given that the airline has long been making plays for the passengers of EasyJet or Ryanair, the giants of the low-cost air travel game.

    Introducing, presumably, a reduced-price ticket, with the option of purchasing a meal on-board, rather than a more expensive ticket with complimentary food, is just the next logical step in BA’s battle against budget carriers that have taken as much as 40 per cent of the European short-haul market.
    Only last month, Telegraph Travel reported that it was streamlining its six existing ticket options down to three – Basic, Plus and Plus Flex – with the former offering the cheapest fare and not including checked luggage, changes to flights or pre-selected seating.

    BA first announced its “no-frills” fares in 2013, trialling hand luggage-only tickets on eight short-haul destinations from Heathrow, expanding it to 32 routes only a month later. At the time, it was recognised as the beginning of BA’s struggle to claw back business from the budget airlines, who offer low headline fares, with extras such as hold luggage and seat selection offered at an additional cost.

    In February this year, the airline announced its first ever scheduled flight from Stansted (due to fly at the end of this month), taking its number of UK bases to four. The Essex airport is more commonly associated with routes to popular summer destinations such as Palma and Ibiza operated by low-cost carriers. It was seen as the first time BA had chosen to go to head to head with the budget airlines on their home turf.
    The low-cost, long-haul revolution has begun, especially on routes across the Atlantic, championed by the likes of WOW Air and Norwegian, providing another reason for BA to attempt to shore up its appeal to travellers whose chief concern is cost.

    Nick Trend, Telegraph Travel’s consumer expert, has long foreseen the steady erosion of the distinction between traditional airlines and their no-frills rivals, noting not just how BA has become “meaner” but also that Easyjet and Ryanair, the latter especially, have become “nicer”.

    “The decision to start charging food has eradicated the last substantive different between BA and its low-cost rivals,” he said.
    “The likes of Easyjet and Ryanair have moved to appeal to more business travellers, introducing priority boarding, flexible fares and extra-legroom seats, while BaA now offers lower fares for hand-baggage only and charges for meals.

    “Will BA succeed with this strategy? Possibly, but only if its fares are competitive enough to attract passengers away from the budget airlines.”

    So how do the fares compare?

    Taking a glance at, say, London to Edinburgh, a popular short-haul route, especially with business travellers, flying this time next month, Ryanair will get you there and back from £47 (the usual no hold luggage etc, from and to Stansted), Easyjet is from £58 (flying out of Stansted and back into Gatwick), whereas flights with BA will set you back from £91, in and out of Gatwick, with complimentary drinks and snacks, but checked baggage and a chosen seat at additional cost.

    What about Prague?

    Ryanair offers the cheapest price, from £103, flying in and out of Stansted, while Easyjet offers £128 in and out of the same airport. British Airways charges from £220, in and out of Heathrow, with complimentary snacks, but an additional charge for checked luggage and seat collection.

    And Palma, gateway to Majorca?

    EasyJet offers the cheapest, at £163, while Ryanair is not far behind at £185. British Airways, meanwhile, offers tickets starting from £262, with drinks and snacks, but no luggage or chosen seat.

    It is important to remember the art of comparing air fares is a complex one.

  • Alan says:

    Had the first of my Flash Sale bookings from a couple of months ago pay out – much to my surprise they correctly uplifted it to the advertised percentage!!

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