Perceptions of Low-Cost Carriers’ Compliance with EU Legislation on Optional Extras

  • Chris Barry
  • Mairéad Hogan
  • Ann Torres
Conference paper


Low-cost carriers (LCCs) market their flights as low cost and, so, aim to garner as much additional revenue as possible from ancillary services such as baggage and priority boarding. The airlines therefore encourage purchase of these services by their customers. As a result of this and other practices by airlines, the European Union has introduced legislation to deal with various areas of concern in order to protect the consumer. Airlines have responded to the legal requirement that all optional extras should only presented to the consumer on an ‘opt-in’ basis by using ‘grey’ Web design patterns such as the ‘must-opt’ presentation of optional extras, whereby the user must choose to accept or reject the item before continuing with the interaction. This study examines user perceptions of the level of compliance of two airlines with the relevant European legislation.


Ancillary Service Verbal Protocol Optional Service Special Assistance Sport Equipment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Barry C, Lang M (2001) A survey of multimedia and Web development techniques and methodology usage. IEEE Multimed 8(3):52–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Benbunan-Fich R (2001) Using protocol analysis to evaluate the usability of a commercial Web site. Inf Manage 39(2):151–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cotton D, Gresty K (2006) Reflecting on the think-aloud method for evaluating e-learning. Br J Educ Technol 37(1):45–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. de Neufville R (2008) Low-cost airports for low-cost airlines: flexible design to manage the risks. Transp Plan Technol 31(1):35–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Doganis R (2006) The airline business. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. European Union 1008/2008, Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Common rules for the Operation of Air Services in the Community (recast), 2008Google Scholar
  7. European Union 2005/29/EC, Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, 2005Google Scholar
  8. European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net) (2007) Report on air passenger rights: consumer complaints 2006, Brussels, Belgium, European Consumer Centre NetworkGoogle Scholar
  9. European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net) (2010) Fifth anniversary report 2005–2009, Brussels, Belgium, European Consumer Centre NetworkGoogle Scholar
  10. Franke M (2007) Innovation: the winning formula to regain profitability in aviation? J Air Transp Manage 13(1):23–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Graham B, Vowles TM (2006) Carriers within carriers: a strategic response to low-cost airline competition. Transp Rev 26(1):105–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Harteveldt H, Stark E (2010) Airlines need to convince passengers to use digital channels to buy ancillary products. Forrester Research, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  13. Holzinger A (2005) Usability engineering methods for software developers. Commun ACM 48(1):71–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hunter L (2006) Low-cost airlines: business model and employment relations. Eur Manag J 24(5):315–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Monk A, Wright P, Haber J, Davenport L (1993) Improving your human-computer interface: a practical technique. Prentice Hall, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. Nielsen J (1993) Usability engineering. Morgan Kaufmann, San FranciscoMATHGoogle Scholar
  17. Nielsen J, Clemmensen T, Yssing C (2002) Getting access to what goes on in people’s heads? – reflections on the think-aloud technique. NordiCHI, AarhusGoogle Scholar
  18. Nucciarelli A, Gastaldi M (2008) Information technology and collaboration tools within the e-supply chain management of the aviation industry. Technol Anal Strateg Manage 20(2):169–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rubin RM, Joy JN (2005) Where are the airlines headed? Implications of airline industry structure and change for consumers. J Consum Aff 39(1):215–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sharkey J (2011) The real cost of airline travel remains a mystery, for now. The New York Times, May 9, 2011. URL: Accessed 10 May 2011
  21. Shneiderman B, Plaisant C (2010) Designing the user interface, 5th edn. Addison Wesley, Upper Saddle River/LondonGoogle Scholar
  22. Shumsky R (2006) The southwest effect, airline alliances and revenue management. J Revenue Pricing Manage 5(1):83–89MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sorensen J (2011) Planes, cars, and ancillary revenues., 11 Jan 2011Google Scholar
  24. Teichert T, Shehu E, von Wartburb I (2008) Customer segmentation revisited: the case of the airline industry. Transp Res A Policy Prac 42(1):227–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Torres A, Barry C, Hogan M (2009) Opaque Web practices among low-cost carriers. J Air Transp Manage 15:299–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business Information SystemsNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland
  2. 2.Department of MarketingNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland

Personalised recommendations