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Air fares to be clearer

Hidden charges must be stated, under EU plans


A plane in the sky

Airlines will no longer be able to separate out taxes and charges on air fares to hide the true cost of a flight, under new EU proposals.

The plans – due to come into force in December 2007 – will mean hidden charges such as fuel surcharges, airport charges and wheelchair fees will have to be included in a single fare quote, thus making it easier to compare prices.

And in future airlines will have to charge the same for a ticket regardless of which EU country it’s booked in.

In the UK airlines are already prevented from advertising air fares without mentioning charges, but the new regulations will extend to the airline’s own website.

Mike Pedley, of Holiday Which?, said: ‘We welcome the proposals by the European Commission to prevent misleading advertising for air fares and look forward to transparent, honest pricing for the consumer.

‘For airlines it’s common practice to separate out charges, but consumers only get shown the full price at the end of the booking – this doesn’t happen at the supermarket till so why should buying flights be any different?’

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