Price transparency on airline tickets becomes law
[October 31st 2008]
New EU legislation that comes into force on November 1st means airlines must include all taxes and charges in their published ticket prices.
From tomorrow airline passengers will not only be able to see the total price of their airline ticket but also a breakdown of the elements that make up the final price. This will include taxes, airport charges, and any other fees such as fees for checked in baggage. Airlines will not be able to impose additional charges without the consent of passengers.
"It is vital that all the players keep to the same rules. That is one condition of liberalisation in Europe that has been a real success story, with more travel possibilities and lower prices," says Antonio Tajani, vice-president of the European Commission with responsibility for transport.
"Fair competition is the key to success: with price transparency, passengers will know in advance how much they are going to pay and will be able to make informed choices," adds Tajani.
The new legislation will enable airline passengers throughout the European Union to be better informed about airline prices and to compare offers like for like. And airlines will not be able to discriminate on price based on a passenger's place of residence.
The EU hopes price transparency on airline tickets will lead to greater competition between airlines. In the past some low cost airlines have been criticised for hiding additional charges such as taxes and checked in luggage fees.
Price transparency is one of the features of the new Regulation on the single market for air transport which comes into force on November 1st. This also lays down the rules for the granting of licences, control of airlines and market access.
Since the liberalisation of air transport in the EU in 1997 the number of routes has increased by more than 60% and new airlines have meant price reductions on many routes allowing more Europeans to travel by air says the EU.
Written by: Nick Purdom
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