Flying with a budget airline can cost nearly 30% more than the advertised price after charges for using credit cards and checking in baggage,  according to research by Which? Holiday.

The study into the pricing policies of Bmibaby, easyJet, Jet2.com and Rynair found the price of a Bmibaby flight to Paris went up by 24.7%, or £64.98, when one piece of luggage was checked in and when the ticket was booked by credit card. The price of a Rynair flight from East Midlands to Malaga increased by 29.1%, an extra £50, when the charges were added.

Jet2.com imposed the highest additional costs – £92.16, although the increase was only 10% more than the advertised price.
 
EasyJet consistently had the lowest luggage and card charges of the four airlines surveyed, but in one instance, its charges added 17.6% to a ticket price.

Which? Holiday head of research Rochelle Turner said: “It’s hard to believe that any airline could justify increasing the ticket price by almost a third just for checking a bag into the hold and paying by credit card – two services that not too long ago were included in the headline price.

“Airlines argue that they are being fairer to customers who don’t use these services. But how many people don’t use a credit or debit card to pay for their flights or travel without luggage? These aren’t extra services. They are part of taking a flight.”

A Bmibaby statement said: “All fees are optional and therefore avoidable; passengers only pay for the services they use. Paying with a Visa Electron card is free, as is checking in online and travelling with hand baggage only, up to a maximum of 10kgs per person. Bmibaby is committed to offering the cheapest flights and fares start from £2.99, one way, including all taxes and charges.”