Golf travel companies have hit back at Ryanair’s decision to increase the cost of transporting a set of golf clubs to £50 per flight on the low cost airline.
Portugese resort Monte da Quinta has publicly stated it will refund 40 EURO to any golfer staying at its Algarve property on production of a valid air transportation receipt.
The discount is available on any golf packages booked at the four-star resort on the Quinta da Lago Estate during 2012.
Irish Company, Clubstohire.com, has also grown rapidly over the past two years creating outlets at seven European airports after seeing a trend in rising airline charges for transporting golf bags.
The company was set up by Irish Ryder Cup star Paul McGinley and supplies high quality hire clubs to travelling golfers.
ClubstoHire director, Tony Judge, said: “Airlines are continuing to hit passengers with increased charges for sporting equipment which, in some cases, can double the cost of a trip.
“It was for this reason we opened the first ClubstoHire store in Faro in July 2010; and we’ve been fighting a successful David v Goliath campaign on behalf of golfers everywhere ever since.”
In late 2011, AirBerlin announced its charges for golf bag carriage were to be increased to €100 return and the majority of European carriers now charge upwards of £60 return.
Ryanair became famous for offering flights as cheap as £9.99 but its recent price hike has left golfers thinking that low cost airlines may not actually represent value for money.
Tony Clark, a 14-handicap golfer from Durham City, takes 2-3 golf breaks a year to Spain and the U.S.A and said:
“I flew Newcastle to Alicante last year with Jet 2 and the cost of taking the clubs was more than my normal seat fare. After that, I bought a second set on Ebay and leave them at the Villa.”
He told Global Golfer that his second set would be paid for after three flights and he plans to fly to Girona this year to play at PGA Golf de Catalunya.
“I’m tempted to fly to Perpignan and hire a car rather than fly Ryanair and pay these excessive charges,” said Clark.
For those golfers without a second home abroad hiring clubs would seem a more affordable option.
Clubstohire.com claims to have saved golfers more than £750,000 since it started trading.
Clubs can be hired from 35 EURO per week, including Callaway Golf, Wilson, MD Golf and Taylormade Rocketballz drivers.
It has outlets inAntalya,Alicante,Murcia,Dublin,Malaga,Edinburghand Faro airports.
Global Golfer contacted Ryanair’s press office for comment but has yet to hear from the airline.