Study Finds British Airways Cheaper Than RyanAir, WizzAir & Other Rivals

British Airways (BA) and other low-cost carriers often outperform their competitors in terms of pricing, according to a recent Which? Survey. 

In the end, British Airways was less expensive than Ryanair and Wizz Air on two out of three flights, according to the analysis, which compared easyJet, Jet2, Ryanair, and Wizz Air tickets using headline statistics and then what customers are expected to spend after costs for a cabin bag and seat selection are included.

On average, across all three flights, Which? It discovered that Wizz Air’s luggage and seat selection costs made up 49% of the overall ticket price. Including these surcharges, the total cost was 27% for easyJet and 20% for Ryanair. According to Rory Boland, editor of Which?, while budget airlines may seem like the best pick at first glance, they charge more and more if you want to bring a lot of luggage or seat near your children.

Ryanair called the study “fake news,” while EasyJet said passengers only pay for the additional services they use. Wizz Air and British Airways challenged the research and defended their prices. Budget airlines may have the cheapest headline rates, but when the analysis threw in the cost of a cabin bag and seat selection—which are always included in flights from British Airways and Jet2—Ryanair and Wizz Air never came out on top.

Flights to Naples were determined to be the most affordable with British Airways, with a total cost of £120. This is in contrast to bargain fares of £198 on Jet2, £185 on Wizz Air, £132 on Ryanair, and £126 on easyJet. British Airways was the most costly option when flying to Athens, but they were the second cheapest when flying to Malaga. Over the three itineraries, Wizz Air, Ryanair, and easyJet all charged an average of £113 for baggage and seat selection, £57 and £52, respectively.

As it passes through parliament, the Digital Markets, Competition, and Customers Bill aims to prohibit “drip pricing,” or online customers’ inability to avoid unavoidable hidden costs. 

Which? thinks that airlines should pay to let customers choose their seats.