Sunday, September 26, 2010

Brussels Airlines: Inaccurate price information on website


Internet has provided travelers with a tool to compare information on fare provided by different airlines. Some airlines give you total price, whereas others disclose different fees that may double the price of your ticket. I had my latest experience with this as I looked for air fare to Brussels. Brussels Airlines may, at first glance,  offer very low fare, but it all adds up. 

I am planning to have an extended weekend in Brussels. I always research different options. I may fly non-stop from Oslo Airport to Brussels Airport with Brussels Airlines and Scandinavian Airlines. From Moss-Rygge Airport Ryanair provides daily flights to Charleroi Airport, 46 km south of the Belgian capital.  

Brussels Airlines offers flights from Oslo December 3rd for 175 NOK and return from Brussels December 6th for NOK 310 - sum 485 NOK - apparently.

Why does it end up costing you NOK 1186, more than 2,4 times the price displayed?  This as the rest is fees not disclosed before you start your booking process.

For a roundtrip Oslo - Brussels you are charged air fare and:
  • Airport Tax: Passenger Charge Norway (ZN) - NOK  119.00
  • Airport Tax: Passenger Service and Security Charge Belgium (BE) 198.00
  • Brussels Airlines: Service fee 20.00 NOK
  • Brussels Airlines: Fuel fee 364.00 NOK 
At first glance difference between Scandinavian Airlines and Brussels Airlines is NOK 948,- as round trip with SAS is priced at 1458 NOK. BUT: This includes all taxes, but the Belgian Airline is only 258 NOK cheaper. As my experience traveling with Brussels Airlines last year was rather grim, I may choose SAS to Brussels Airlines.

The good thing is that you are given the higher price very quickly, but I do not know why the full price could not be disclosed for the traveler immediately. This, as there is no way that you can avoid them.

The way it looks now, I may choose Brussel Airlines one way , i.e. to Brussels December 3rd. This as  Ryanair offers tickets from Charleroi airport December 6th at the ridiculous  price of 10 EUR. I will keep you posted whether this is the true price or if there are any hidden compulsory costs.

This shows that there is money to be saved for travelers by being creative while booking tickets. It may not be much, but all counts!! 

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