Ryanair Announces $15 Flights To Europe, Too Good To Be True?

Ryanair is promising to sell one-way trans-Atlantic flights for just $15. It sounds too good to be true, and it mostly likely is.

A statement released by Ryanair, Europe’s biggest discount airline, said the company’s board has approved a massive expansion, which will include trans-Atlantic flights.

“European consumers want lower cost travel to the U.S.A. and the same for Americans coming to Europe,” according to Robin Kiely, head of communications.

According to CNN Money, Ryanair is in talks to purchase new long-haul aircraft from Boeing and Airbus. The airline is planning flights to 14 American cities. Fares to Europe would start at £10 (which is about $15 at the current exchange rates).

Ryanair marketing chief Kenny Jacobs added to the Financial Times, “other one-way tickets would be priced at £99 or more, and the airline would fill up to half its jets with more expensive premium seats.”

Penny-pinching travelers will have to wait at least another five years to get their $15 flights to Europe, while the airline secures the new aircraft and makes other preparations.

Still, the rock-bottom $15 price tag isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

CNN Money reports that Ryanair is like a lot of other discount airlines, in that they make their profits off of extra charges not included in the price of the ticket. Those fees can include items like checking baggage and reserving a specific seat.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, those fees can quickly stack up, as they did for Suzy McLeod. She ended up paying at extra €300 ($380) to get her family back home from Alicante to Bristol, because of a €60 fee for printing out each of her family’s boarding passes.

When Ms. McLeod complained on Facebook, Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary defended the company’s business strategy in less-than-hospitable terms.

“We think Mrs. McLeod should pay 60 euros for being so stupid. She wasn’t able to print her boarding card because, as you know, there are no Internet cafes in Alicante, no hotels where they could print them out for you, and you couldn’t get to a fax machine so some friend at home can print them and fax them to you.”

Excessive fees and hidden charges aren’t the only problem. The government will also be contributing to a higher price. Reportedly, taxes will add an additional $200 onto that $15 flight from the U.K. to the U.S.

Nevertheless, Ryanair and other European airlines appear to be taking flight into the American market, which should help make prices more competitive. CNN Money reported that French Airline La Compagnie is offering $2,200 business flights from New York to London, which undercuts American Airlines and Air France by about 50 percent.

With Ryanair’s $15 flights, now discount airlines like Southwest have reason to worry, too.

[Image Credit: Getty Images]