Anorak News | Come Fly For Free: Ryanair Gives Flights Away

Come Fly For Free: Ryanair Gives Flights Away

by | 17th, May 2007

JUST when you thought flights couldn’t get any cheaper Ryanair decides to give flights away for free – paying the taxes, fees and charges.

After the offer went live yesterday at 10am, the Ryanair website collapsed as 4 million attempts by frenzied travellers were made to secure the tickets in the first five hours.

With low-cost airlines experiencing an unexpected drop in demand last month, as well as being hit hard with the recent doubling of air passenger duty, Ryanair are desperate to fill their planes.

According to the company’s spokeswoman: “This is about getting bums on seats. We are paying to get passengers into our planes – we’ll be paying the tax that they would normally have to pay. There’s no point in flying planes empty.”

However, the move has been condemned by Friends of the Earth, with aviation campaigner Richard Dyer calling the giveaway “grossly irresponsible”. Said he: “Passengers may be getting a free ride, but the planet certainly isn’t. It is unbelievable that Ryanair is resorting to such tactics.”

The company hope to recoup the travellers’ taxes it is paying for by encouraging them to cough up for add-ons such as onboard meals and snacks, travel insurance, car hire and hotel bookings.

However, with the likes of Ryanair, EasyJet and even BA all admitting that they are struggling to fill their planes, the industry in general could be about to experience some turbulence.

Posted: 17th, May 2007 | In: Money Comment | TrackBack | Permalink