Ryanair is introducing a new stripped down version of business class and it may be worth investing in. While food is not included in the £59.99 (roughly $100) ticket price, there are many other benefits. These benefits are compared to costs incurred when travelling on the budget airline normally.
The Irish airline has gotten a lot of bad press over the years. Michael O’Leary, CEO of the company, made it clear that he wanted people to pay more just for the luxury of taking luggage on holiday. Customers would face penalties for not printing their boarding class before arriving to the airport, so the idea of a business class that would work out cheaper was a major shock.
The new “Business Plus” tickets will cost around $100 and include the ability to change flights up to 40 minutes before departure. There will be no extra fees charged. When flying standard class, the fees are £90 ($149) just to change the flight! Those flying business will also save money on taking luggage with up to 20 kg included in the ticket price. At the moment, customers must pay up to £75 ($124) for something that they are likely taking with them.
The extra charges have seen a number of complaints over the years. It has led to many customers boycotting the budget airline, since the extra costs do not quite make it budget. Even without the change of flight option, Ryanair’s new business class may be worth investing in. There is already a $24 saving if the full $124 charge was made for the luggage.
Unlike business passengers on mainstream flights, passengers will not get luxury seating. However, the ability to save so much money and get priority boarding could certainly make it worth the consideration. Passengers will get the better seats on the planes, which usually means those by the exit doors for those looking for extra leg room. They may also be given the front seats or the aisle seats for a more comfortable journey.
That does not mean the idea has come without criticism. To get all the Ryanair benefits, passengers will still need to book online and make sure the right boxes are checked. They will be automatically unchecked, so passengers will be wasting the extra money. All customers should go through every section on the website to make sure everything requested will be included in the ticket price.
This is not the first change that the company has brought in. O’Leary made an announcement this year that the penalties for not printing boarding tickets would be reduced. It seemed enough people had complained and may have hit the profits enough to get him to rethink his options.
The Irish budget airline has not confirmed where the decision has come from. It seems that some of these decisions are based on rival company EasyJet’s rising profits. EasyJet keeps its hold baggage charges to a minimum, offers allocated seating and puts the business market first. However the changes have come about, they may be worth considering. It looks like Ryanair business class may be something worth investing in, as long as all the benefits are checked at the time of booking.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham