Checking a bag into the hold and using the check-in desk should be included in the price of an airline ticket, according to a survey by Which? Travel.
The survey of 2503 Which? online panel members highlighted the products and services that air travellers feel should be included in the advertised price of a ticket.
Taxes and charges rank top
Government taxes and charges ranked top in the survey, with 92% of respondents feeling that these should be included in the advertised price. Checking a bag into the hold and using the check-in desk should also be included, according to 75% of members who took short-haul flights.
Long haul versus short haul
Credit and debit card fees were also a bone of contention – 70% of members felt these should be included in the price and not levied at the end of the booking process.
Passengers travelling on charter and long-haul flights, however, appear to hold slightly different expectations, perhaps given that most pre-flight services are generally included in the total cost of the ticket.
The Which? Travel findings show that long-haul passengers place more emphasis on the quality of the product and service delivered, with 95% wanting meals included in the price, and 67% seeking non-alcoholic drinks.
Pre-booked seats appeared more important for women than for men, with 66% of women wanting this service included in the price of a long-haul ticket, compared with 46% for short haul. Only 23% wanted speedy boarding included in the cost of their ticket.
New EU rules
New rules introduced by the EU in November 2008 state that airlines are required to quote all non-optional taxes and charges in the advertised cost of a ticket. Airlines that do not comply with the rules will be prosecuted.
Amanda Diamond from Which? Travel said: ‘We welcome these moves to crack down on airlines that do not include all compulsory taxes and charges in the advertised price of a ticket, but some airlines are still flouting the rules. We would like to see all airlines comply with EU legislation and include all non-optional charges in the headline ticket price.’
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