Budget carriers Jet2 and Flybe lead the way in Britain
)The airlines which make the most from extra charges have been revealed by new analysis of the industry.
Florida-based carrier Spirit Airlines made the most in percentage terms, with ancillary fees making up 43.4 per cent of its revenue, according to a report by industry analysts Idea Works.
British budget carriers Jet2 and Flybe also made it into the top ten of companies with the largest percentages of ancillary revenue, along with Irish low cost carrier Ryanair.
Ancillary fees are those that go “beyond the sale of tickets that is generated by direct sales to passengers, or indirectly as a part of the travel experience,” the report said. The extra charges placed upon consumers can include baggage charges, seat selection, booking fees and meals.
However, other ancillary fees can have less of an impact on the consumer and come from schemes such as sales of duty free, air miles and advertising.
Despite the apparent extra burden on consumers, the report’s authors were not critical of the approach and praised it for creating more low cost travel options.
The top ten airlines in terms of ancillary revenue have increased the amount of money they make outside of ticket sales since 2008.
Revenue from ancillary costs in 2015:
Spirit - 43.4 per cent
Allegiant - 37.6 per cent
Wizz Air - 36.4 per cent
Jet2.com - 29.4 per cent
Ryanair - 24.0 per cent
Volaris - 22.3 per cent
Jetstar - 21.3 per cent
Flybe - 21.2 per cent
Tigerair - 20.8 per cent
Alaska Air Group- 19.5 per cent
Passengers on Spirit Airlines must pay more for carry-on luggage, checked luggage, printing boarding passes at the airport, early boarding, seat reservation, any drink or snacks on the plane and, like many other airlines, ticket changes or cancellations. 18 per cent of Spirit’s total revenue is from checked bags alone, according to the report.
Despite the costs, Spirit’s passenger numbers have grown by 12.5 million since 2008, from 5.5 million to 18 million.
Jet2, a British airline described as “an ancillary revenue leader”, made over £231.6m in extra costs, amounting to £39.16 from each passenger.
This money came from a number of sources, according to the report: “including checked baggage, advance seat assignments, extra leg room seats, pre-flight meal sales, inflight sales, and commissions on car hire and travel insurance.”
Meanwhile, rival Flybe made over £158.8m in extra costs, around £19.37 per passenger. This came mainly from baggage carriage, advance seat assignment, commissions, change fees and credit card fees, according to the report.
Irish carrier Ryanair was one of the highest earning airlines overall – not just in percentage terms, like the other airlines listed. It made £1.3 billion in ancillary revenue, behind only United (£4.8bn), American (£3.6bn), Delta (£2.9bn), Air France/KLM (£1.66bn) and Southwest (£1.63bn).
The money was made through a diverse array of charges, including on baggage, credit and debit card transactions and in-flight sales of food and drink and commission on products sold through Ryanair’s website.