Ryanair won't be automatically including insurance on its prices


Ryanair has not always had a reputation for being the most honest and generous of companies. It's financial success is thanks, at least in part, to being clever with the additional charges it asks customers for. So when you think you’ve got a flight around the world for a penny, you might actually be spending hundreds of pounds on all the little hidden extras such as tax, credit card charges, baggage storage fees, extra baggage storage fees and finally Ryanair's very own travel insurance cover.

Until this month, when you booked a flight on www.ryanair.com, you had to physically ‘opt-out’ of the option to include Ryanair’s travel insurance. Most, if not all, customers will already be covered by a travel insurance policy. But the Irish company felt a little extra cover wouldn’t hurt anyone.

As of this April though, thanks to a new law passed by the EU in Brussels last year, it will not be possible for additional charges to be bolted on to the price of a ticket without a customer’s prior consent. This will make the whole process a much more fair ‘opt-in’ rather than ‘opt-out’ procedure.

It wasn’t until it absolutely had to - on April 2nd - that Ryanair made these changes to its website, which is another example of the way in which the firm is trying to cope with the current economic crisis. Earlier this year, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary came under fire for suggesting installing coin-operated toilets on board all Ryanair flights. He was ridiculed for suggesting a system where one would have to pay a pound to spend a penny!

In terms of what you get from Ryanair’s travel insurance, it’s really not worth thinking about too much anyway. There is considerably less cover in the package than most of the big insurers, although the choices are quite varied. The airline is proud to boast no complaints from the thousands of passengers who took advantage of their travel insurance deals in 2008. The question is: how many of those passengers actually knew they were covered by a Ryanair insurance policy?


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