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All-inclusive air fares coming soon!

July 9, 2008 11:00 AM

The full cost of a plane ticket will become much clearer before booking over the next few months, thanks to laws adopted by the European Parliament today. This will finally put an end to tickets being advertised for one or two pounds, only for customers to be charged a much higher figure when they actually buy the flight.

The new rules will come into force by the end of this year or beginning of 2009 and state that airlines will have to publish all-inclusive fares from the outset and also let customers know what proportion of that fare is the basic ticket cost, tax, airport charge and surcharges such as for fuel or security. Optional supplements such as for a seat reservation or travel insurance will be strictly on an opt-in basis.

Commenting, local LibDem Euro-MP Liz Lynne said:

"These measures can't come soon enough; customers have for too long been misled and frustrated by thinking a cheap ticket was just that, before finding out it really costs much more after all the extras have been added on.

"The extra transparency these rules will bring are a good thing, although it is a pity that many airlines in the past did not choose to clarify the real cost of tickets voluntarily at the start of the booking process."

On extra measures the legislation will include, Liz added:

"The stricter controls on airlines' financial situations are also good news for consumers. If a carrier is in danger of going bankrupt in the future, passengers' rights will be better protected as a result of these changes."

ENDS

Text of the report adopted today: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A6-2008-0264&language=EN