What's happened to cheap flights

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28 Jun 2012 00:15 by waynejr Star rating. 12 posts Send private message

You used to be able to get reasonable flights to alicante now they have shot up this year from the UK

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28 Jun 2012 10:30 by steone Star rating in Santiago de la Riber.... 386 posts Send private message

If you followed other threads on here you would have some of the answers. I will repeat some of the reasons

Alicante airport have had a big fight with Ryanair over its policy of using 'airbridges'. What the use of them means is that a plane is on the ground for at least 45 to 50 minutes instead of 25 mins. as needed by Ryanair. On top of that there is the additional charge for using the airbridges which in Ryanairs case was at least €2 million a year.

Spain have recently increased their tax on passengers (similar to the U.K .tax) so this is an additional cost to pass on.

Fuel is more expensive this year than it was last year.

Someone has to pay for the new terminal (3) !!!

There are less people coming to the region so the planes aren't as full during the lower season so they have to make up for this "loss" during their busy period.

Simple market economics state that you can charge what you like so long as there are people( mugs) willing to pay that price.

The bottom line is, I think, the days of the under £10 flight are dead and burried.

I remember many years ago if I got a flight for under £200 I thought this was great. Then along came the likes of Ryanair and easyJet et al and we saw prices in the region of £20 to £30 which was great at the time. Now the 'market' is established a more reasonable (for the airline) price will be charged.

I hope this has gone a little way to explain the reason for the higher prices.



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28 Jun 2012 10:58 by Bri Star rating in North. 591 posts Send private message

 I agree - I think people have forgotten the cost of flights pre low fares.   When we used to go to Portugal to stay with relatives, we never paid less than £800 for two adults and two chldren.    That is back in the 1980s!!!!!   So the fact that prices are just returning to those levels is pretty amazing.  We have had a lot of good years.  Things could get a lot worse.



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28 Jun 2012 11:08 by kev2006n Star rating in Sussex and Playa Fla.... 343 posts Send private message

 I don't understand the dispute with Ryanair  at Alicante airport. Ryanair are still flying there. Not from Gatwick. Passengers are not using the new walkways!

We recently flew to Alicante with Easyjet, guess what, when we arrived at Alicante we did not use the walkways. Passengers left from both the front and rear! Two weeks later we returned with Easyjet. Again, we did not use the walkways but had to walk to the plane and we boarded via the rear stairs. 

It appears to me that Ryanair have been pushed out of the Alicante - Gatwick slot which can allow the others to charge more. Although I have to say if you book early there are still reasonable priced fares.

The only way to keep the fares competitive is to have more carriers on the routes. It is not that many years when there was BA, Excell and so on flying this route. The real problem seems to be getting a good price fare late.

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20 Aug 2012 18:35 by damatt Star rating in South Wales/Algorfa. 78 posts Send private message

It is my feeling that Ryanair will have a dispute with most people if they can not get just what they want. If they dont get what they want, they will go to an airport who will think it is great having a low cost carrier use them and bring more passengers through their gates. The after some time Ryanair will then look to see how they can get the price down at the new airport, so the disputes start all over again.

I am supprised that they have not moved to St Javier as there are no bridges there and I supect the costs are lower. They already go into there, but not many flights, watch this space. They had a dispute at Cardiff and finally moved to Bristol, Cardiff is now almost dead because there are now very few flights per day so the cost per flight has to go up and the low cost operators will not pay the higher charges.

I recently flew to America and the breakdown of the flight was 60% tax 40% flight, I assume the taxes will not be much different from that to Spain.

If you are going to Spain for 2 weeks or so, then it may be cheaper to fly with a major carrier when you look at the cost of adding a suitcase, card charges, checkin at the airport and the cost of using the loo, plus paying for something to eat on the flight and even buying a lottery ticket for underprivilaged children.


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20 Aug 2012 19:22 by wizzard2 Star rating in Costa Blanca. 32 posts Send private message

Slightly better news (but not much) is that BA will fly from London  Heathrow to Alicante,for three days a week starting in October,Costs are from around 70 euros one way,but includes 23 kilo of hold luggage,and most other charges are included.

As for the Ryanair problem,I think the extra costs for using air bridges and new government tax increase comes to less than 2euros per bum on seat,so I think these reasons can be disregarded.


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20 Aug 2012 19:48 by bobaol Star rating. 2257 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

 The use of the airbridge for Ryanair was they felt it increased the turn around time, not the cost which did add a bit extra to each seat.  Ryanair pride themselves on scheduling and they reckoned the airbridge would slow them down.  

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21 Aug 2012 10:25 by Susanspain Star rating in Mijas, Malaga. 145 posts Send private message

Susanspain´s avatar

 I 'usually' pay around Eu120 (all things included - 1 x hold bag etc) for round trip to visit family in UK,

But I need to go a bit earlier than my usual dates this autumn.

I have been reeling from the price!  Eu300 in the end... (and I put it off a few days more until I could get slightly cheaper seats on outward .) 

I guess we are still in 'High Season' and that is the reason.

But have noticed baggage on Easy shot up from just 12GBP to 20, and now is a whopping Eu39. 

Oh dear.. might have to tell the family I can't visit as often :( 

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21 Aug 2012 18:11 by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1411 posts Send private message

My son was quoted over £500 for a flight on August 18th; needless to say he looked elseware, as many others are.I see Virgen are starting domestic flifgts inthe UK. Perhaps they could do shorthaul and give Ryanair a run for their money!

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22 Aug 2012 10:04 by watchmanager Star rating. 23 posts Send private message

I was a supporter of Ryanair over not  useing the new airbridges. The reason was that the airport had already agreed and contracted using the tarmac and why should they then want to charge Ryanair two million for the privilage of longer turn around times.

HOWEVER, as Ryanair STILL fly into Alicante from the larger airports such as East Midlands, Manchester etc and still use the bridges WHY, OH WHY? can't they do it from ALL the airports such as Humberside, Sheffield/Doncaster. As these flights were less frequent than the larger airports they were always full and profitable. There is no difference. The logic does not make sence. If you have a problem with the airbridge use, then PULL OUT entirely and really stick it to them. Ryanair won't do this because it is nothing to do with the turnaround times or cost. His two million pound would be made up  immediatelyby putting 1 cent on every flight that he has across the world and would also put them millions in front.

I further went off Ryanair when the airport offered a major climb down by offering Ryanair the use of bus's at no extra cost to them which Ryanair refused. So this is nothing to do with the use of bridges, it is more politics by Ryanair and possibly scaling down his fleet before going belly up. Why hasn't other airlines such as easyjet etc jumped into their slots and using all the airports that Ryanair have vacated. There seems to be some backdoor dealing going on here. You scratch my back' etc.

Message for ALL airlines. Get back into Alicante and make use of all the airports that have lost the trade. Lobby the Spanish Government for incentives and point out to the Spanish government that putting up Taxes is not the right way to encourage people to flock into Spain.Nor is all the red tape for those who want to settle in Spain. Spain needs the tourist trade more than any other income.


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22 Aug 2012 10:36 by damatt Star rating in South Wales/Algorfa. 78 posts Send private message

I can not imagine Virgin doing short haul. They have a standard they are known for and to drop that for short haul to be profitable, then it will just not run.

I see Ryanair are telling their pilots only to put in enough fuel to let them complete the journey, nothing more, so if they are delayed or stacked for approach and they are running low on fuel they do a mayday and they jump the queue. Is this not putting passengers at risk. The pilot is reported if they put in to much fuel and he gets his hands slapped.

The day that we get to a position when we have a standard pricing structure the better, you could have a basic flight which would include all the card charges and not charge for checking in, you have to check in, you also have to pay. Extra's could be if you want to put bags in the hold as there is a cost involved in that, you may want insurance and car hire, fine, they are added extra's which you can buy, but the starting cost should include everything you do not have an option on, not flight £12.00 and then when you get to the end thay add taxes, admin fee, checking in fee, use of the loo fee, card fee, sitting down fee and cabin crew fee.

I nolonger just look at the headline charge, I go the whole way and end with a cost and do not complete, then I make the comparison.

One thing I always wonder about, is the software of Ryanair set that if you make an enquiry for a flight it gives you one price and stores your IP address and if you come back within a given time, then it knows you have looked before and gives you a higher price as every time I have done the search, then the price is always higher when I go back, even 10 minutes later.


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22 Aug 2012 11:36 by Watchmanager Star rating. 23 posts Send private message

Damatt. They deny using those tactics but I AGREE WITH YOU. The way to avoid this is by going into your email options and get rid of the cookies in the temp internet history. The next enquiry will be viewed as a new one.

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22 Aug 2012 13:20 by maddiemack Star rating in Grantham, Lincolnshi.... 194 posts Send private message

Thanks Watchmanager...

I've had exactly this pricing problem with Ryanair and now I know how to sort it!


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22 Aug 2012 13:44 by REIDPJ Star rating. 239 posts Send private message

The 'In Private' browsing option (second button down in  'Tools') isn't just for viewing PORN!!!!!!!!!!!!  Their cookies can't track you there

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22 Aug 2012 14:39 by robertt8696 Star rating in Midlands, UK. 479 posts Send private message

 there are many reasons the flight prices are going up, and i think most people are not taking them into account when they complain about the hike in fare prices.  An example is the airbridge reason people are claiming is not really making a difference to the Ryanair costs. I admit Ryanair has a lot to answer, but often things like the airbridge issue is not their fault.

Steone says; Alicante airport have had a big fight with Ryanair over its policy of using 'airbridges'. What the use of them means is that a plane is on the ground for at least 45 to 50 minutes instead of 25 mins. as needed by Ryanair. On top of that there is the additional charge for using the airbridges which in Ryanairs case was at least €2 million a year.

If you consider this, the cost of the airbridge use is trying to be forced onto Ryanair, so the airport makes more money from the flight, and the comment "the use of them means is that a plane is on the ground for at least 45 to 50 minutes instead of 25mins. as needed by Ryanair." this extra ground time at the airport is also charged by the airport , as a plane on the tarmac is how an airport makes its money, and is charged in minutes rather than per stop. An hours landing usually runs into thousands of pounds, so doubling the parking time is a great increase in airport charges to Ryanair.

These two methods of increasing ground charges to Ryanairs flights mean that ANY air carrier would increase flight charges, as to absorb them would be impossible. Maybe we should all protest to the Alicante airport authorities for using sharp practice to increase their revenues at the expense of passengers who WILL eventually vote with their feet and use another airport for their travels. I feel that Ryanair is just as much a victim as the passengers, as they are held over a barrel, as they have a contract to provide services through this airport, and so to a fair extent have their hands tied.

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22 Aug 2012 14:54 by damatt Star rating in South Wales/Algorfa. 78 posts Send private message

As I have said previously, if Ryanair were so bothered about the cost of the bridges, then they would move lock stock and barrel to Murcia were there are no air bridges, so what else is there keeping them in Alicante.


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22 Aug 2012 17:48 by robertt8696 Star rating in Midlands, UK. 479 posts Send private message

 Damatt, the part you are obviously not considering is airports give economy carriers a large subsidy to get the carrier to use the airport in the first place, but just as Ryanair have hidden charges, so do airports, such as forcing the operator (ryanair) to pay these extras to keep their airport entitlement. It is not just Ryanair producing money from hidden charges. These charges claw back quite a portion of the subsidy that the airport gives the carrier in the first place, and a carrier cannot  just change airports, these things are contracted by the airport, and only one or two operators are allowed in the airport they are contracted to at any one period. This unfortunately is commercial reality, and air bridges and extra time thereafter made by delaying the aeroplane on the ground only serves to produce revenue for the airport concerned, NOT Ryanair. The only time Ryanair makes money is by keeping their aeroplane in the air, not paying airport fees and surcharges, which ultimately will be passed to the end user, that is US! 

So in answer to your question, they are still in Alicante because they are not given a subsidy to operate in Murcia, and if they could move to a cheaper alternative i am sure they would, as it would mean they could hold their fare down, and at the same time minimise the expense paid to an airport, maximising Ryanairs profits.

Ryanair , and the airport are there as businesses, they are not charities! remember you dont get anything for nothing.............

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22 Aug 2012 18:18 by damatt Star rating in South Wales/Algorfa. 78 posts Send private message

Good point, obviously you are more in the know than I am, you sound like someone in the industry, not like me, a customer.


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22 Aug 2012 19:12 by geofb Star rating. 19 posts Send private message

Or is it that there is confusion over wether Murcia airport will stay open, Corvera airport will open, Paramount will open, so its a wait and see,and operators are unsure of what to do.

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22 Aug 2012 22:36 by robertt8696 Star rating in Midlands, UK. 479 posts Send private message

 Damatt, i have spent years involved with the transport industry for years, so you get to know a few things and how they work. And

Geofb, do not think the operators are not watching any developments in the local airport market, and at the point of tendering for the contract, and subsequent subsidy they will be fighting for the contract!

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