Monday, 13 August 2007

Airlines to display true cost

Following a crackdown on misleading prices by the Office of Fair Trading, budget airlines have been forced to display the true cost of flights on their websites and advertisements. A total of 13 carriers including easyJet, bmibaby and Thomsonfly have begun displaying the full cost of flights, including taxes and non-optional extra costs, after the OFT took action following a warning to the travel industry in February.

Ryanair has not done so as it claimed that technical issues have prevented it from changing its entire booking process immediately. They have made changes to its homepage to indicate how much taxes and charges will add to the final price. The OFT has warned Ryanair and Aer Lingus, which has claimed a similar problem, that it will be closely monitoring the situation to ensure changes were made.

Sean Williams, OFT executive director, said, 'The OFT is committed to ensure that consumers are not misled by advertised prices that bear little relation to actual prices. Misleading pricing not only undermines consumer confidence but also distorts competition and we will enforce the law enthusiastically where we find that consumers have been misled.' In conjunction with the OFT, travel association ABTA has taken action against members failing to comply with its code of conduct in relation to similar misleading prices. The action by the OFT meant that as of 31 July, easyJet, bmibaby, Flybe, Thomsonfly, flythomascook, Monarch, Jet2, Globespan, Wizz Air, Sky Europe and German Wings changed their websites to include all costs in prices. (source: metro)

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