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Airport fees at Knock for the Independent

Monday 17 September 2012

I fly from Knock Airport quite a bit. Frankly, I would be lost without it. It would turn a quick jaunt to London into a big palava if I had to get to Dublin first. In the five years I've been living in Leitrim, it has turned from quite a pokey little airport offering a few flights a day, to a big shiny hub flying here there and everywhere.

With new routes added in the last few months, you can now get to Paris, Milan, Edinburgh and Frankfurt, as well as many other destinations.

The only drawback to flying from Knock?

Handing over €10 whenever you walk through security.

This Airport Development Fee has been in place as long as the airport has. According to the airport,

"This is a service charge which the Airport charges for the use of its facilities and as a contribution toward infrastructure developments, including passenger and airline services, ongoing maintenance and operation of this airport. The services include terminal facilities, safety and security, airline services such as air traffic control, navigational aids, runway systems, aircraft parking, and fire services."
More and more airports are charging the customers directly for this fee upon departure, including Norwich, Newquay and Blackpool in the UK, and many in Canada.

From a business point of view, I can understand why they do this. The money is instantly in their pockets, without having to claim it back from airlines. There's no hassle.

I shudder to think how much money I've given Knock over the last few years. But, while the tightwad inside of me holds onto my cash a little longer than necessary, I admit that if I had the choice between paying €10 or not having Knock at all? I'd hand it over every time.

I've written a column in the Indo about airport development fees, wherein I speak to Knock airport about the fee, why it's in place and what it does. Click on the link below to read it...

Have you travelled from Knock before? Or have you been hit by any last minute fees at an airport? Let me know in the comments!

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