Ryanair may not even have complied with its own terms and conditions after it took extra charges for flights from thousands of customers after they had returned from holiday.
Passengers who flew from certain Spanish destinations in July but booked their flight tickets in June or earlier were hit with an additional charge due to increases in Spanish airport tax.
Most other airlines absorbed the cost of the increased taxes but Ryanair retrospectively passed on the charge to some customers after flying.
Which? believes Ryanair may have been in breach of its own terms and conditions, which state that while it may pass on additional taxes to passengers after booking, these will have to be paid for ‘prior to departure’. However, some passengers were charged after they had returned home.
Ryanair customers booking before July charged extra
People who booked and paid for flights before 1 July 2012 and departed from a Spanish airport after that date were automatically charged extra on their credit cards or from their bank accounts – from around 30p up to £7.20, depending on the airport. All subsequent bookings include the new fees in the price.
Although Ryanair did not address the issue that it may have breached one of its own terms and conditions, it told us: ‘Ryanair is obliged to collect taxes and charges and pass them to the Spanish government on behalf of passengers.’
One Which? researcher was hit with the extra charges, and was refunded when he complained. Clause 4.2.2 in Ryanair’s T&Cs says you will be obliged to pay any increase ‘prior to departure’ but we think the wording is ambiguous so if you were charged afterwards try claiming your money back quoting this clause.