Ireland’s no-frills airline has emailed passengers due to fly from Spanish airports to say that they could face an extra charge to cover the cost of an increase in Spain’s airport fees.
The increase was proposed in Spain’s national budget recently. Ryanair’s rules say “if any such tax, fee or charge is introduced or increased after your reservation has been made you will be obliged to pay it (or any increase) prior to departure”.
The airline reports that the Spanish government has proposed doubling the actual departure tax on flights out of Madrid and Barcelona airports, with increases at other Spanish airports, too, although these would be smaller.
The increase would cost passengers approximately £4 – £8 per ticket.
However the new increases still must be approved in the Spanish budget.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary says the warning arose from a draft budget presented by the Spanish government.
“It’s a bit uncertain at the moment but it looks like the Spanish government are going to double the airport fees overnight the day the budget gets passed,” O’Leary is quoted as saying in the Independent newspaper.
“We have already taken a number of millions of bookings for passengers intending to travel to these airports this summer, and if they double the taxes we will be sending them a bill for the increased taxes or debiting their debit and credit cards”.
However, O’Leary said passengers who do object could get a full refund: “You can of course reject that additional payment, cancel your flight and then not fly with us if you so wish. But we’re not going to be funding the Spanish government’s taxes.”
Meanwhile, British Airways said it would absorb any increase in the same way that it absorbed increases on existing bookings when Air Passenger Duty was doubled recently.