Paying to pay – Ryanair’s “handling” charge scam

On a recent trip to Spain on Ryanair, I got chatting to my friend who booked the flights and was surprised to hear about a handling charge that I have not noticed before when booking a Ryanair flight.

Perhaps its just me, but I thought the idea of a handling charge was for the company selling the service to somewhat offset the cost they incur of processing a credit card transaction. This can typically be in the region of 3% of the total so it’s understandable. By using a debit card instead, one can save the handling charge or at least reduce it.

Ah…not with Lyingair though. They charge a whopping £9.50 per return flight no matter what type of card you pay with. Well, apart from Visa Electron, that common of common cards that everyone has in their wallet.

“Ok” I said. “It’s £9.50, but there are 5 of us travelling so we can just divide that between us right?”


Ryanair multiply this handling charge by the number of passengers on the booking. So now it turns out we have paid almost £50…to pay!?!?

What a rip-off.


29 thoughts on “Paying to pay – Ryanair’s “handling” charge scam

  1. We had the same experience when booking a group holiday recently to Italy. We had to pay circa £50 so that Lyingair can collect the payment. This is a cost which could be built into the cost of the flight and there would be little issue however, as Lyingair are so explicit about their costs, all their customers feel as though they have been taken to the cleaners unneccessarily.

    Lyingair should perhaps take a view on what they charge their customers and quote implicit prices on their web site. Failing that then they can continue to lie to all their customers and we will continually try and find alternative budget airlines as Lyingair are a bunch of lying bastards and we all hope they go bust at some point and are replaced by a more transparent, honest budget airline who resort to lying and ripping off their customers!

    Fly Sleazyjet! It’s much better.

  2. Couldn’t agree more. I bought a couple of tickets to Seville last month. The tickets didn’t cost much, the taxes a bit more, and right at the last moment the website slapped almost £20 onto the total price. I thought “OK then I won’t use my VISA card, I’ll use a debit card instead, that only costs them about 20p flat fee to process so they shouldn’t charge me extra for that.”. How wrong was I? You’re quite right, it’s a blatant rip-off.

    Anyway, what’s this “handling charge” BS? It’s a fully automated process, or if it isn’t, then Ryanair should swallow the cost as it would be down to them for failing to automate what everyone else has.

    I note that Easyjet charge no extra for using a debit card and I only paid £1 for a credit card transaction earlier today.

    I think O’Leary has gone too far with this. It’s beginning to hurt the brand. I am now emotional about this and will avoid using them in the future. I’ll also tell my friends. I am sure I’m not alone in hoping that this costs the brand a lot more than they make in card ‘handling’ fees, in the long term.

  3. LOL. People what is your problem??? If getting Visa Electron is to hard for you then you shouldn’t fly anywhere as u must be dumber than monkey and should be kept in a cage in a zoo… Go to Halifax website and simply open a cash account. Yep it is as simple as this. All u need to is fill in some details and you can do it online… Unless you are brainless u shouldn’t find this to hard… And after few days you will receive you own Visa Electron by post. WOW!!!

  4. I have just experienced the same thing and am horrified! I have never been charged so much for using my debit card! I deliberately chose to use my debit card as i know these websites can charge a lot for credit cards.

    All the way through the booking process it was referred to as the ‘handling fee’. At no point was it mentioned that this was going to be nearly £5 per person. It was only when i’d clicked ‘purchase’ and got my confirmation that i saw the amount – £38 for 4 flights. I felt robbed and wrote to Ryanair who replied with an innocuous email about charges.

    I am incensed and will never fly Ryanair again, i hope they go bust with their penny pinching lack of customer service!

    No other website charges to use a debit card, i am capable of getting a Visa Electron card but why should i?!

  5. God you people are morons. Really. You never mention how much the flight actually costs after complaining about the charges. The flights are still the cheapest by far. O’Leary has done more for cheap airfare then any other airline and I hope he continues well in the future and in fact he will because even though people will complain about extra charges and other nonsense at the end of the day Ryanair is the cheapest airline around by far. You get what you pay for. So what if you pay 50 quid extra in CC charges you still save compared to any other airline. Do any of you idiots remember how much it cost to fly BEFORE Ryanair? think in perspective and pull your head out of your arse. I am not a Ryanair employee just someone who appreciates cheap flights.

  6. Yes Eliot, you smarty pants.

    So all I’d have to do would be to travel back in time, sign up for the account, receive the card, transfer money to the account, wait for it to bank, and then book online.

    Oh wait. I can’t time travel can I? So I’m going to potentially miss out on this offer unless I keep money continually topped up on the card. A card that I don’t really want, nor need at all.

    Your so smart. WOW!!!

  7. you realise how stupid you are. read those fucking terms and conditions before you make a booking. you can also find all the fees and charges that they apply and also they are applied. and also listen to eliot and get a visa electron. otherwise shut the fuck up

  8. @Steve
    They do offers every week so if u miss out one u will get next one… U can pay cash into ur account in the bank so u don’t have to wait or keep a 50 pounds on it – don’t know if you can afford it but I can. If u don’t want or need this card than pay the charge and stop crying about it… Otherwise you can always use other airlines but I don’t think any of them will take you anywhere for 1 pound (just an example, sometimes it’s less sometimes it’s more…)

    @Dickhead detector
    Wrong in both cases. I must say u must be intellectually retarded person. Do u detect someone in the mirror in front of you every day?

    WoW o/

  9. Booked some great £1 flights to take the kids to disneyland, never used Ryanair before so I read all terms and conditions and wasn’t overly pleased with the £4.75 debit card transaction plus vat per person but hey ho still thought of it as a bargain, went through all the booking stages and paid via my visa debit card, total to be paid came up at £72 so I clicked on the pay button thinking the £4.75 pp charge would come up but nothing happened except transaction confirmed, all happy I decided to print it off only to get a shock that they charged £132, so they charged £10 per person, very apparent they charged 4.75 each way plus vat. They are dirty rotten theiving so and so’s and could of quite easily had the terms & conditions put in more easier english and also for it to come up before I clicked the payment button. They should not be allowed to not show the payment transaction without the full debit card fee breakdown shown first before you confirm it all, most places charge 60p for a debit card transaction not £10 per person. Hope people realise and stop using these fraudsters I pray they fall foul to the credit crunch!

  10. @Mrs Strutsherstuff
    You didn’t noticed that when you change card/payment type then Payment amount shown on same page is automatically changing + you can press “click here for information on handling fees” and see the explanation of this charges in plain English (u pay £5 per person per flight – flight is from start to landing so return is actually 2 flights)… You do all of this before putting card details and making payment so I don’t get what is wrong with u m8…

  11. Sorry to interrupt, but where is the point of your blog? You claim that you hate Ryanair but why are you flying with a company about which you keep constantly saying (and of course which is also your sites URL and title) that you “hate” it?
    Would I buy something I don’t like? Would I travel to a Hotel with which I haven’t been satisfied at all? Sorry, but I really do not understand where your point is. If you hate Ryanair the simplest and easiest way to have a more relaxing live and make better use of your time is flying with someone else and not posting the details of every fault you did when you chose them in the internet! It’s your fault you have a choice with whom you fly.

    All I have to say: You get what you pay for. And if flying means for you (like it does for me) more than just getting from A to B than the easiest way to get rid of Ryanair is booking with someone more expensive offering more. And I’m sure you’ll arrive in better shape with a smile on your face.

    My personal advice: If you don’t like them avoid them! And if you fly them stop saying (in other articles) that you would like Michael O’Leary’s company to disappear. The time you still use them your complete site is simply only one thing: Senseless nonsense!

  12. Hi Chris,

    Thanks so much for your email and your concern.

    With regards to the time it takes to run this site and post all the nasty messages about Ryanair, it’s not a lot of effort – really.

    Secondly, we have stopped flying with Ryanair and we now travel with real airlines. You’d be suprised how well they compare on price too!

    I think you are missing the point here Chris. The site offers a place to read about Ryanair and it’s shoddy behaviour and to then, where relevant, share your experiences and submit valid comment. Many people do as you have probably read.

    I hope you are feeling better now.

    Kind regards,
    IHR Team.

  13. Eliot is some knob isn’t he??? LoL

    Clearly works for Ryanair, might be O’Leary himself me thinks!! If you don’t work for them then please explain how you’ve come to know so much about their T’s & C’s! Twat! I’m also keen to hear what you think about their policy of charging for the toilet now! That’s an effing disgrace!

    There are suggestions here that we fly with other airlines, I was and it was easyjet (cheaper and a flat rate on taxes & charges) until O’Leary bullied Cork Airport into pulling them out or else he would pull out of Cork. Wish he had to be honest. I only fly Aer Lingus now.

    I read in the paper today that O’Leary is now insisting that customers check in on-line before arriving at the airport or he will fine the passenger £40.00. WTF – he’s trying to cut more staff and increase passengers stress. I know Elliott, people should all go away now and buy themselves a printer, some ink and paper. Why don’t we all just buy a small jet instead! So yeah, you’ll tell me the check in is now £5 instead of £10 but if he’s getting rid of check in desks and saving on staff how can he charge us for checking ourselves in at all! It’s a cheek!

    I now have a suggestion for you Eliot– get a life! Or here’s another suggestion, get back to work before O’Leary fires your ass.

    ‘Ryanair – Shut up and Pay!’

  14. People use these web pages to talk and find out whats going on and elliot yes you get what you pay for but does it not anger you that they are now charging £5 for online check in and also there are not even many cheap flights any more plus £10 to use your card each way its becoming a joke even when on board its a horrible constant marketing drilling from an annoying irish man. i used to like ryan air because im young and skint but now the business plan is now at its latter stages you can see what they have done and its pretty shoddy and now just as expensive as other airlines maybe slitghtly cheaper but RYAN AIR DONT GIVE A SHIT AND NEVER SAY SORRY EVEN IF THEY ARE IN THE WRONG.

  15. @Mr Nice
    Yeah man u got me there, it is me O’leary lol – what was ur name again? Retard? Ok so if the polite part is behind us I will enlighten u that it is my wife that works in ryanair not me so it happens that I know some about this airline. Buying a printer ain’t so expensive m8 – £30. Anyway I don’t agree with this charge for online check in but £5 is still not so bad. I had a “pleasure” to fly with Easy Jet and I prefer Ryanair but this is just my choice… Thanks for suggestions but I already have a life and looking on your comment and all this frustration in it I think my life must be much better than yours.

    I agree with most of what u wrote. Still they are the cheapest and visa electron is still free of charge ;]

  16. It’s MRS Nice actually- who’s the retard now needle dick?

    Well Eliott not everyone can afford to throw around £30 MATE just to buy a bloody printer but we know you can as you so commented in the past!

    If you have so much of a life why do you seem to spend your day trawling through this site looking for people to offend? So yeah, again me thinks – get a life buddy :-)

  17. Well u started with all this offending so u know i just had to lower myself to ur level. Yes it was hard to go so low but it provoked ur next funny comment so I’m ok with it. If it takes u all day to travel through this website than I feel even more sorry for you, I’m visiting it 1-2 times a week just to have a look on comments from brainless people like you (probably i read faster than u so it takes me only a few minutes, not a day;). This website was created to offend a company (thousands of people) so what are u doing here if I’m the only one who’s looking to offend somebody??? It is not an offense to show people their stupidity, but you wouldn’t understand that as your one of them… And sorry for my error MRS – GZ on that lol. I think u should leave thinking for others (clearly it is not ur best side) and get a job so u wont have a problem with spending £30 on printer.

  18. Is that your argument? Brilliant! You’re a genius! Your response doesn’t even make sense!

    As you commented this site was created to offend a company yet you are on here defending it and offending people ”It is not an offense to show people their stupidity”. Why don’t you set up another blog Eliott -”I Love Ryanair” and piss off and leave the rest of us ”brainless” people in peace.

    Your comment on getting a job to buy a printer says it all about you! The point of the argument is why should we have to????

  19. Good point about leaving u in peace. U were funny at the start but now it is just boring. Why should u have a printer? Well it is 21st century darling and I always thought that printer is quite useful piece of equipment but I guess I’m wrong ;p (printer is useful to print off many kinds of booking conformations, files etc. not only for Ryanair flights). Hope that this makes sense to u. Anyway that is my last comment so – PEACE o/

  20. Dear Eliot – please could you advise the thousands of RyanAir passengers who do HAVE printers at home how they can check in onlne and print their return flight boarding cards when they are at their holiday destination (hotel, motel, camper van, youth hostel, tent, etc etc) and do not have their computers and/or printer with them. Hope that make sense to u.

  21. Sorry Eliot but your position on the ‘payment handling fees’ shows total ignorance and a lack of foresight.

    I don’t mind paying any fees as long as the function of the fee is the same as what it advertises. Ryanairs isn’t and it sets a precedent for other retailers to follow.

    Imagine walking into tesco or buying at Amazon and being charged for every item under the guise of a ‘payment handling fee’. Shouldn’t be legal and needs to be stopped!

  22. Previously I’ve been pretty supportive of Ryanair, because I like the idea of paying for what you want.

    However, just now I went to book a flight, and was confronted with a £24 handling fee, which is totally unavoidable for me.

    I don’t like the idea that they can advertise cheap flight prices, then lump on an unavoidable charge at the end. If it costs £5 per segment, per person, then this charge must be included on the price.

    It costs me time to plan out a flight, so I should be presented with all the details straight away instead of having to manoeuvre around 6 different screens to see what is actually 6x the advertised price.

  23. I have had 3 flights with Ryanair all of them there has been something that really hits you where it hurts, I hate even the company template its complete shite i hope they go bust and fast. I only fly with British Airways if you have never gone T5 Heathrow then do it you wil never turn back and you will not mind paying a little more.

    Its noce to feel human rather than like cheap cattle.


  24. As long as you return within 15 days you can check in at home for both flights and pay ‘only’ 10 euros or pounds for using your own computer, printer, paper and ink to print two boarding passes for the flights up and down. Ryanair claims that this charge is used to maintain their website. If you stay longer than 15 days you will have to go to an internet cafe. However, these are on the way out and are closing in droves. For most no internet cafe means no access to a computer and printer, thus they will have to pay the ‘avoidable’ charge of 40 euros or pounds to get a boarding pass at the airport. I regard having to pay for checking it at home with my own equipment as an outrage, and for me this is one of the reasons for boycotting Ryanair, I can only hope that this ‘marvellous’ idea will not be copied by other airlines. Aer Lingus is now rolling out checking in at home, but it is free and I hope it will remain so.

  25. Just bought some tickets and tried to pay using Visa Electron – the website says that Visa Electron and Mastercard Prepaid Debit will not pay handling charges. Guess what – the O’Leary trick is now that ONLY Mastercard Prepaid will not incur administration charges. Beware of this latest con trick. Seems the comments of the OFT have led him to yet another childish trick.

  26. when paying this credit card fee here’s something to think of. The credit card companies charge 15 cents {euro} per transaction. Thats about 12 pence so 24 pence per return flight booked. A complete rip-off!!

  27. I cannot believe the word “retard” and other immature words are flying around on this blog. It’s really rude. People are voicing there opinions and if they find it annoying that these charges are being applied, then let them. It is after all called “I hate Ryanair.” I just wanted to know what these fees were thats why i ended up on here. I’m trying to book a flight with only one airline that flies to my destination and there is a 10 pound “handling fee” on it, regardless of whether you pay with visa electron or whatever card you have. But before those of you call me a moron or retard, i will do my own research before i book it. Children.

  28. Hi! I’ve been reading your web site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent job!

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