A Which? Travel investigation has revealed how Ryanair has been charging customers more depending on whether they’re paying in pounds or euros.
For customers paying by pounds, the investigation showed how the airline was charging up to six per cent more.
Why are they charging more?
It’s all to do with the “dynamic currency conversions” system on the Ryanair website when holidaygoers book online.
Whilst booking flights to and from Europe and the UK, this system showed quoted fares in euros, which is line with standard industry practice. That quoted fare is then converted to pounds by Ryanair and an exchange rate is automatically applied.
However, the exchange rate that is applied is the exchange rate at the exact time of booking.
The Which? Travel investigation stated that “this switch is always at a terrible exchange rate” and branded the company as a “rip-off”.
How much more are they charging?
While the amount you could be overcharged varies, an example given by Which? Travel explained how a family of four flying from Alicante in Spain to Stansted would be charged £30 more.
The quoted price in euros was €565.81 – that fare would then be switched into pounds by Ryanair using an exchange rate of 93p to the euro, making the total in pounds £526.97.
Had the customer instead paid using Visa’s exchange rate (not Ryanair’s) on that day – 88p to the euro – they would have saved £30, with the new total being £496.97.
“Passengers would be better off sticking to a payment in euros and letting their card provider do the currency exchange,” the investigation reported.
How to avoid the extra charge?
You can opt out of the dynamic price conversion from Ryanair by clicking on the “more information” button on the website – this allows customers the option to revert back to euros and bypass the automatic conversion.
When passengers do click through, they are then met with a warning which states that the choice to opt out “could result in significantly higher costs.”
The investigation advised, “It’s better to let your card provider or bank make the currency conversion, not Ryanair.”
What does Ryanair say?
When the investigation went public, Ryanair stated that their practice “complies with EU and national laws on consumer protection.”
A Ryanair spokesperson said, “Customers have the option of paying in the currency of their payment card which gives absolute certainty of the final payment amount.”
This article originally appeared on our sister site Yorkshire Evening Post