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Dynamic Pricing? Or Price Hiking During a Crisis?

Dynamic Pricing? Or Price Hiking During a Crisis?
Taylor Rains

Ryanair is under hot water right now as customers accuse the carrier of charging over £80 more to rebook canceled flights. Currently, travelers can make fee-free changes for flights that were supposed to operate through April 30, but they are still forced to pay any price difference between the original booking and the new booking.

However, many people have reported crazy fare differences when they try to change the date of their flight. According to Which?, one passenger was rebooking his flight from Dublin to Malaga when he was quoted €137 for the change in fare, but when he checked Ryanair’s website for the same flight, it was only €49 – a €88 price hike. A different customer has the same issue. Their fare difference was quoted at €99, but to book a new flight would only be €52.

I decided to test this with one of the Ryanair flights I had booked for April, and it appears the price inflation is true. When I tried to rebook my flight to October 26, the price of the flight was quoted at $87, while the same flight if booked on its own is only $53.

 

Although the fare difference could be attributed to “dynamic pricing,” customers are convinced that it is a sneaky attempt by the airline to make extra cash during the crisis.

Have you experienced the same issue when trying to rebook a Ryanair flight? Let us know in the comments!

View Comments (5)

5 Comments

  1. OZFLYER86

    March 30, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    what’s probably actually happening, is 10 people are looking at same flight at same time. There maybe 20 different fares for the one route & so on a 200 seater aircraft there maybe 10 seats in each fare bucket(price). If out of the 10 people looking, one is looking for 4 seats, another 3 seats & another 4 seats, then not all will see the same fares, as search engines don’t average fares, unlike what travel agents can do.

    Too many people looking at same time. Search engines were never designed to handle the 10 times normal traffic, that they are getting now.

  2. strickerj

    March 31, 2020 at 6:20 am

    Yes, it’s probably an entirely automated reaction to a scenario that the pricing algorithm was never designed to anticipate. But it’s still a bad look for Ryanair, a company that already often looks pretty bad. Fortunately their leadership has never been too concerned about bad publicity.

  3. kkua

    April 2, 2020 at 8:23 am

    Why continue to do business with companies that continuously rapes the wallets of the hard working public? Boycott them! It’s probably because their web search engine does not have a change fee waiver built into their pricing mechanism.

  4. manually

    April 18, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Ryanair is notoriously known for bad customer service yet knowing this, people still book flights with them. Not sure why anyone would expect any different from them

  5. AX9465

    April 22, 2020 at 2:06 am

    I came across 2 airlines I now consider gold standard in dealing with the Covid situation: Emirates and Aegean – both saying that traveler can rebook at no cost increase to any date in the future for the same route original ticket is issued. If Easyjets and Ryanairs will follow the same rule, people might be more willing to give them another go rather than requesting refund (which for me was as hassle free as possible through Amex – in both cases charge was reversed and dispute closed without questions asked within 24 hours).

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