At a time when rising costs are at the forefront of everyone’s mind, Discover Ferries, the UK’s passenger ferry industry body, has revealed what Brits perceive to be the biggest rip offs when travelling1. The list reveals where consumers feel they are made to spend extra on travel.
|Top 10 Travel rip offs|
|2||Paying to sit together with friends and family|
|4 =||Booking extra leg room|
|4 =||Credit card booking fees|
|5||Paying for additional hand luggage|
|8||Entry to local attractions|
Avoid shelling out big bucks for baggage
Recent changes in hand luggage allowance for some forms of transport means more travellers will need to pay for additional bags or luggage to take their essentials with them. With some operators charging £40 each way for additional hand luggage, hold luggage costs ranging from £12 to £110 per bag2 and extra fees for excess and overweight baggage, this can add substantially to the final bill. Charges vary greatly depending on destination and departure date, and aren’t revealed until the point of booking, making it difficult to budget in advance.
Ferry travellers do not encounter the same limitations and costs. In general, ferry passengers don’t need to consider the number of bags they take, or the size and weight of their luggage as they can have “as much as they can carry” within a standard foot passenger or vehicle crossing fare.
No reservation over seat reservation
Travellers also begrudge having to pay to sit with their family and friends or for seats with extra leg room. Many short haul air operators now charge passengers to reserve seats together, which can vary from a couple of pounds to over £50 per seat, each way.
Discover Ferries points out that allocated seating costs do not apply for ferry travel. Ferries boast spacious lounges, on board cafes, bars and restaurants as well as access to fresh air on deck. With the freedom to move around the ship during the journey, groups can easily find somewhere to sit together.
Swerve soaring car hire and parking fees
A global shortage in hire cars saw rental rates soar last summer, which has remained front of mind for many Brits. Furthermore, with parking charges at some airports increasing by 128% in December3, travellers may reconsider how they are getting to and from their departure point or whether they are able to take their own vehicle on holiday in a bid to save money. As a result, the number of ferry passengers travelling with a vehicle grew by 54% last year4.
Escape the hidden costs bumping up holiday prices
The survey shows that the biggest travel rip offs are often the hidden extras, which are less visible in the planning process and therefore less likely to be factored into travel budgets. As well as luggage, seat allocation and credit card fees, respondents also cited single person supplements as unnecessarily steep. Rather than optional extras, these costs are essential for consumers to experience the journey they expect. Opting for modes of transport that give greater value within tickets helps travellers to keep track of their spend and focus their budget on experiences rather than less fun costs.
Abby Penlington, Director of Discover Ferries, comments: “In the current climate value for money has never been more important, while people understand the need for price increases, it is the unexpected charges that make travellers balk. We wanted to see where British travellers feel they are being exploited in a bid to help them find the best value breaks and stretch holiday budgets further.
“Luggage handling fees are evidently the biggest bug bear but for ferry passengers travelling in their own vehicle, the term fill your boots is never truer. Of course, taking your own vehicle also means you have the freedom to explore your destination without the added fees of car rental or airport parking. Furthermore, there is no concern over being charged to sit together during the journey, the space on board enables passengers to stretch their legs, grab a bite to eat and relax as a group. Travelling by ferry means passengers can avoid the top rip offs and reduce their spend on journeys to popular locations including France, Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland, and British Islands.”
1 Top 10 results based on a survey conducted for Discover Ferries carried out online by Censuswide. A panel resulting in 2,042 responses from general UK consumers was questioned between 20th and 23rd January 2023. All the research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines.
2 Charges from a range of airlines including Aer Lingus, British Airways, EasyJet, Enter Air, Ryanair, Vueling and Wizz Air
3 Research from Your Parking Space, November 2022
4 IRN Ferry Ferrystat Monthly Ferry Passenger Statistic, December 2022