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SAS accuses Ryanair of airport fee fraud

8 Jan 2013, 14:36

Published: 07 Jan 2013 11:37 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Jan 2013 14:36 GMT+01:00

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In November 2012, SAS filed a formal complaint to Scandinavian aviation authorities alleging that Ryanair provides inaccurate aircraft weight figures to European aviation agency Eurocontrol, the Danish business newspaper Berlingske Business reported.

The take-off weight figures are used to calculate landing fees.

"We clearly don't think it's appropriate for Ryanair to circumvent the rules in order to get off cheaper, leaving us and other airlines that follow the rules to pay the bill," SAS spokesman Lars Andersen told Berlingske Business.

Air France has also accused the budget airline of misreporting the take-off weight.

And in Germany, Ryanair is the subject of probe by civil aviation authorities who suspected the carrier has falsified aircraft take-off weight to the tune of €370,000 ($482,000) outstanding fees per year, the Die Welt newspaper reported.

In a statement issued to The Local on Monday, Ryanair refused to comment on the substance of the SAS allegations.

“Ryanair has a policy of not commenting on rumour or speculation. There is no truth to these claims. Ryanair’s 737 aircraft operate [at different certified weights] in full compliance with Boeing’s flex-weight programme, as certified and approved by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA),” spokesman Stephen Mcnamara said.

Story continues below…

TT/The Local/dl

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Your comments about this article

19:48 January 7, 2013 by Beavis
utter stupidity from the world worst run airline as per usual (sas) giving Ryan some free advertisement. sas would be better to look at lowering their outrageously priced short haul fares and lowering their senior management pay packets than to poke holes in an airline that can actually make huge profits..sas also have the oldest fleet (and most dangerous) in the whole of Europe. (ran have all brand new planes) And as for service , those miserable old bags on sas wouldn't know good service if it hit them in the face..and as for sas "on time" record... landing on the ground "early" is not early until you reach the terminal building...
09:55 January 8, 2013 by teejees
I have to disagree with comment number one. Whenever I have flown with Ryanair its been nothing but problems so we decided to fly SAS from now on and even though it costs on average a bit more its worth it. The staff are brilliant especially when it comes to children, seating and luggage. I heard on the radio about Ryanair under declaring the weight of their planes over Christmas and one thing that came to mind was how they make it so difficult for people flying with regards to hand luggage and the weight of checked in luggage and the extra amounts people are forced to pay. For me because I have children and that they are so good with them that is the deal breaker for me and I will fly with SAS when I can. Also at the moment they are doing special deals on flights. A huge snow storm moved in over Sweden and Denmark when we were flying for Christmas and on one flight the air attendants were stranded in another part of Denmark and the SAS staff that were on holidays were called in at the last minute, They could have looked sour and grumpy like some staff I have come across on ryanair but no they were professional and put a smile on and did their job and got us to our destination just in time for Christmas Eve. And just because a plane is old doesnt mean it cant function properly just as if a plane is new doesnt mean that it cant have problems. I have also found I have had smoother landing with SAS airplanes than Ryanair and whether that is down to Pilot experience or the plane I am not sure but I do feel a lot more secure on SAS planes.
11:32 January 8, 2013 by Beavis
I take it #2 doesn't fly all that much. ryan are a bus with wings, they don't claim to be anything else. Having just travelled with sas on Saturday with a 1 year old I can confirm that the staff are anything but brilliant with children. We were in the air after and after the meal service was finished I brought my 1 years old to play on the floor in the empty business section for a few minutes to try and calm her down. I was told by the old wrench of an air "hostess" that she couldn't be there that business class people paid a lot of money to be there and didn't want playing children (the whole section was empty!!) I asked if shed rather everyone else listen to her screaming instead and she suggested to "play in the isle" but that they might run into her with their trolleys! I talked to 2 other parents on the flight who both agreed they wouldn't be flying sas in the future. they kept constantly trying to sell us sky shop rubbish at full volume which is real great trying to get a baby to sleep!we were also told wed get buggies brought out at the connecting airport, but they didn't bother, they left us to walk.ryan also clearly state in huge caps that it one item, 10kg. sas also have a 10kg restriction (albeit you can have things you bought in the airport extra) as for paying a "little bit more" The last 4 years sas has charged the whole summer time between 2500kr and 5000kr one way Dub-Sto, wheras ryan and now aer lingus charge 250-1300kr (inc fees) that's up to 10 times more!!) as for these old "safe" planes , check the recent crash history of the MD80s and MD82s sas uses, exactly the same as the Spanair one that crashed due to fatuige as for the landing it more airport dependent than anything, having travelled weekly on ryan and flown about 10 time s a year with sas I can say theres almost no difference. Ryan did use a steeper fuel saving approach, but sas have now adopted the same approach as an "environmental save". Having a "sale" once a year in Januaury (last 5 years with sas) offering reasonable fares for a week or two , not great deals just reasonable compared to normal) then charging outrageous prices the rest of the year is no way to stay in business not keep your few remaining customers happy
16:34 January 8, 2013 by teejees
@ Beavis, yes I have flown a lot and with many different Airlines around the globe. Although I wouldn't be travelling on a weekly basis when I do travel I have to sometimes take at least two flights each way.

And yes I do understand the concept of Ryanair being just the bare essentials/no frills however this should not give them the right to underweigh their planes and then charge their customers through the nose for luggage and extra fees, at least on the SAS website you see the total price upfront.

As for with children I can only go by my experiences on both airlines and tell you that SAS have been the best out of both and you can only go by your experiences so on that one we will have to agree to disagree. I had four SAS flights over Christmas destination Dublin on the way out and with one child under 5 and another under a year. And maybe there were people further up the plane as I recall there is economy, economy extra and business class and I do know on some airlines they reserve the business class area only for adults so maybe its in there protocol not to allow any children up there regardless. On one of my first flights with SAS my eldest had turned one and the Air hostess offered to walk my son for a bit up and down the aisle to give me a break. As for selling I think Ryanair must hold the record for the amount of things that they try to sell over the intercom and it makes for a very annoying flight but on any SAS flights I have taken they have kept this to a minimum. As for the luggage you get 1 case to check in included and you don't have to start putting everything into one bag when you are boarding like in Ryanair which saves time when you board as you have the bare essentials like nose drops and a bottle and a nappy to hand instead of unpacking everything again when you take your seat. Also the fact that you have your seat already means everyone is not rushing and trying to jump the queue like on Ryanair. Also we got all four of our flights at Christmas for four people for 500 Euro total and not during sale time, we thought we would have to pay extra for an extra case we brought home with Christmas gifts but were pleasantly surprised when the checkin staff made an exception without us even asking. I must admit I don't know a whole lot about the MD80s and the MD82s however my point is just because something is old does not mean it won't be safe just as you can't always rely on something new to be safe and that goes for a lot of things. With the Ryanair approach and landing I always found it was worse on my ears and a bumpier landing and I am not the only one that has commented on that. But again I guess we will have to agree to disagree on a lot of the above.
22:55 January 8, 2013 by Gardian
I agree with SAS but also they need to look after thier prices which i really believe are a bit high than the normal price. But there is no comperisation with Ryan. My wife traveled with Ryan and she lost her bag and they even said no one word.
13:22 January 10, 2013 by silversurfer
@teejees, @Gardian SAS prices are out of any range. I understand that SAS is the flag airline of Scandinavia and Sweden, and given what I've seen so far, patriotism when it comes to national stuff is high in Sweden, but keeping a zombie like SAS alive is a mistake and we will see that in one year when analysts have predicted that SAS will just dissapear.

Ryanair is crap, but you get what you pay for; however, with SAS, you don't get what you pay for, you get the same you would get in any other airline, but an economy seat for almost the price of a first class.

I don't fly Ryanair, but I do not fly definately with SAS unless I do really have to, which mean basically that one of my legs of my itinerary are with SAS because the flight I chose was cheap enough for me (aka, I don't look for SAS logo ;)

SAS has the right to complain, I'm happy they do, someone has to do it, because Ryanair uses all possible tactics to squeeze the system, but that's all. SAS is as good as any other european airline, its problem is that the management of that company still believe that selling a ticket at least 2 times more expensive than the average is ok because there will be a few 'supporters' willing to be ripped off just because it is SAS (which for me is pretty much the same as paying to Ryanair a few pounds and then suffer its rules and restrictions)

15:47 January 10, 2013 by knackas
You are all missing the point, if the allegations are true then Ryanair are probably under paying overflight and landing charges by over £20m per annum. This will obviously reduce the cost base! The final paragraph regarding Boeing flexi scheme should also be taken with a pinch of salt. Whilst they are permitted to operate at different weights the eurocontrol weight declaration can still be manipulated.
18:31 January 11, 2013 by geecee61
For the past 6 years since my divorce I have commuted between 10-14 times a year to see my son...and I have to say Ryanair is the worst air travel company I have ever flown on,they have lost my bag on 3 occasions and got out of paying any compensation on 2 occassions,I have had my credit card overcharged on numerous occasions through bad writing by cabin crew resulting in applications for refunds taking up to 5 months for onboard purchases,I have had to sit on a broken seat,been charged £60 because I printed my boarding pass too faint(even though my iphone app could read it),been forced to wait 6 hours for the next plane after an overbooking error after the Iceland volcano problems,I will use them now in dire emrgencies,SAS have slipped a bit but Norwegian Air does the trick and does it well.
10:32 January 14, 2013 by vladimir72
I really think that Ryanair is the worse airline ever and I use it only in cases of extreme emergency. However, they openly say it's a low-cost service, comparable to a bus. On the contrary SAS pretends to be a "normal" airline but probably is the second worst airline ever, just after ryan air. The simple fact that the service offered by ryanair and SAS is comparable, gives an idea about how low quality SAS is. Whoever used airlines such as British and Lufthansa knows that very well. On my behalf, I prefer using Lufthansa with a stop over than flying direct with SAS, usually at the same price. Add to this the ridiculously old aircraft fleet that SAS flies and I really don't see how this airline will survive. It deserves to go bankrupt. I just hope Lufthansa will buy it sooner or later.

12:40 January 14, 2013 by azimuth
I avoid both Ryanair and SAS as much as I can. The former because of their crappy service, charges for everything which over their limitations (had to pay £7 for 1 kilo overweight while some other airline would just let me in without charging anything) and stupidly long connections (had to spend the whole night at the airport waiting for my connection).

SAS is avoided because of their incredibly expensive tickets. I can fly all the way to Central Asia by Turkish Airlines for the same money as SAS charges for some within-Europe route...
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