Aug 08, 2008 / misc
The great Jet2.con

I went to book a flight on today. It made me furious.

####step 1: select flight

On the first page, I get to select a flight and the prices. They look reasonable, great!

Jet2 Sign up

So far so good. Uh oh. I just looked at the side box that shows a price summary. I thought I'd be paying £189, but on go the taxes. Never mind, I usually expect to see some tax go on there.

Jet2 Price Box

####step 2: insurance This next page let me select my insurance option. Hang on a minute, I've noticed a baggage charge has been added.

Jet2 adding baggage fees

What? I get charged £13.98 because I want to take a bag!? That seems a bit steep. This was selected by default, and I actually think I might need to take a bag on a 5 day trip. Drat.

(I actually wanted the insurance, so no complaints there).

####step 3: seat selection

The next page is about selecting the seat I want to sit in. They also wanted to charge me £4 to pick a seat (per person), but I decided to skip that option, thanks. Skipping that option isn't easy either. They warn you that you might not be placed next to your friends if you don't explicitly pay to pick seats. Feels like scare tactics.

Great, so I ducked out of the seat-selection charge. But oh no, they've managed to sneak on another stealth tax. Looks like the fuel tax just got added on this page too. Nice.

Jet2 adding fuel tax

####step 4: paying

The next page takes my card details (debit card or credit card). Because I'm using a credit card, I also have to pay £9.60 extra for this too. Even if I use a debit card it's an extra £6. WTF!? There's seldom a charge in the UK for debit cards. Are they just robbing me blind or what!?

Jet2 adding fuel tax

####step 5: feeling duped :(

This was what I'd call a bad purchasing experience.

I thought I'd be paying less than £200.00, and then ended up paying closer to £300 - over 36% extra. Bar stewards.

The low prices on the first page set my expectations. I was happy with the prices and prepared to pay them.

Gradually adding fees and taxes at every single step completely broke my expectations. This just made me increasingly disappointed and angry.

So, for booking a simple low budget airline flight, I can now get surprised with

  • general taxes (+17.4%)
  • luggage charge per item (+ 7.4%)
  • fuel suppliment (+ 6.3%)
  • credit card (+ 5.1%)
  • seat selection (optional, up to 4% per person)
  • insurance (optional, up to 3.7% per person)

Unfortunately I really had to book this flight, so I ended paying despite being pissed off.

Next time I'll be looking at other airlines. Even if the costs are the same, I'd prefer an airline who clearly indicates mandatory costs at the start of the booking process.

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