Ryanair is now certain to make its passengers pay the airline extra tax – but is there any way for passengers to avoid it? Can it be cheaper to book your flights from Vienna or Bratislava instead of Budapest? Continue reading below to find out more.
A few days after the announcement, one of the biggest low-cost airlines, Ryanair, made it clear that they will pass this amount directly onto passengers, in defiance of the sanctions imposed by the government. In practice, this means that they have retroactively increased the price of tickets that their passengers had already purchased.
Many people were scared by the announcement and immediately started thinking about how they could get away with this price increase. The possibility was also raised that those who had not yet bought their summer flights, or who might not travel until the autumn, could avoid paying the extra tax by flying from a nearby airport instead of Budapest. Pénzcentrum made some calculations on whether it could be cheaper to travel this way.
Hungary is in the fortunate position of having two capitals within reach: Vienna (Austria) is 250 kilometres from Budapest, while Bratislava (Slovakia) is just 200 kilometres away. The cheapest train fare between Budapest and Vienna is EUR 13 (HUF 5200), roughly the amount of the special tax. A return trip would cost EUR 26 (HUF 10 400). Also adding the price of a taxi trip to the airport and we are at the point where it is not worth the money. Flixbus will take you slightly cheaper, around EUR 8.8 (HUF 3500), but you also have to come back home the same way. Not to mention paying the fare between the station and the airport.
Ticket pricing is a complicated process. It is not as simple as an extra EUR 10 (HUF 3900) for flights departing from Hungary and everywhere else it is a cheaper, fixed price.
Most airlines, both traditional and low-cost, use yield pricing, which means that the sooner you book your flight, the cheaper it will be, explains Apex. Unfortunately, in many circumstances, this is not the case at all. The booking algorithm will lower or raise the price of each ticket depending on how much of the maximum capacity has been filled. This is a factor passengers have absolutely no control over.
Experts have already pointed out that the tickets will not simply be more expensive by EUR 10 (HUF 3900). In Hungary, this is an extra cost added that dictates how the algorithm will behave. In a worst-case scenario, if our flight is cancelled, it is a much safer option to book our flights abroad, where there is no extra payment.
Source: papex.aero, penzcentrum.hu