Aer Lingus slammed over fares
Aer Lingus charges passengers flying out of Republic far more than those flying into the country from the same destinations.
A study of fares reveals that Irish passengers are paying above the odds in all but two of the routes surveyed.
A comparison of fares for flights departing from Dublin for weekend breaks in Frankfurt, Nice, Paris, Barcelona and Naples found it would cost more to fly return from Dublin in all but two cases. The comparison was based on the lowest available fare for flights departing and returning on the same dates.
The most blatant price difference was for passengers travelling from Dublin to Nice, in which passengers departing Dublin were being charged a total return fare of €332.69 yesterday afternoon, while passengers flying to Dublin from Nice were being charged €197.69.
The biggest price difference for trips to the US was for Boston-bound passengers, who are being charged €224.52 more for their return fare than Dublin-bound passengers from Boston, followed by €200.14 more for passengers travelling from Dublin to Chicago.
Only two fares from Dublin were cheaper. They were Dublin to Paris for a total fare of €179.05, compared to €199.05 to fly from Paris to Dublin, and Dublin to Barcelona for €218.12, compared to Barcelona to Dublin for €298.12. Both routes are serviced by their rivals Ryanair, which may explain the competitive prices.
Enda Corneille, director of corporate affairs for Aer Lingus, said that while there may be some slight variations in fares between departure points, there shouldn't be wide variations. "The rack rate should be the same."
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However, he said there was currently a sale on flights to Dublin from many European cities which could account for the difference in fares.
But Dermot Jewell of the Consumers Association of Ireland said it was outrageous that passengers were being charged above the odds.
"From whatever side of the world you're travelling from, it should be fair," he said. "I think it's unforgivable at any time but especially now, when you should be rewarding those still willing to travel."