Dutch fine Ryanair for misleading fare information

Ryanair, an Ireland-based budget air carrier, has been handed a fine by authorities in the Netherlands.

The penalty of EUR370,000 has been imposed on the airline for allegedly promoting fares without the inclusion of fees and surcharges, resulting in customers having to pay ‘considerably more’ than the fare first advertised, according to the Dutch authorities.

Failing to make the full cost of bookings transparent was a violation of European regulations, the Dutch consumer authority added, saying, ‘Ryanair offered air fares on its website that did not include all foreseeable and unavoidable costs, such as fees and surcharges. Consumers paid considerably more than the air fares that were initially displayed.’

Further criticism of the airline’s booking format in the Netherlands included: customers not having the opportunity to amend details before their booking was completed, difficulty in contacting the airline for assistance, and the lack of information in the Dutch language.

However, a spokesman for Ryanair responded, saying, ‘The decision of the Dutch consumer authority is littered with errors. Ryanair will appeal this unfounded decision and confirms its website fully complies with all EU and Dutch consumer protection regulations.’

According to authorities in the Netherlands, Ryanair’s booking processes have now been revised to provide accurate prices.

News of the fine comes just days after Ryanair announced a major purchase of new aircraft. The order for 175 Boeing jets is worth USD16bn, and the company could order another 125 according to a statement given to the Financial Times by Ryanair chairman, Willie Walsh.

Ryanair currently has a fleet of 305 Boeing aircraft.