ATAB finally wins battle for transparency in airfares
After months of campaigning, the Air Travel Authority Bureau www.atab.org.uk reports that the Civil Aviation authority has announced that Jet2.com and Ryanair have both agreed they will display their full up-front fares by 28 April and 1 June 2011 respectively.
The airlines will now comply with many other airlines in providing consumers with upfront pricing, so that there are no behind the scenes surprises that consumers only find out about when they’re processing their bookings online.
ATAB wants all airlines to display the final, inclusive price at all times, something which will make consumers’ lives a lot easier – EasyJet have already amended its website and Monarch, bmibaby and Flybe have all made changes.
Iain Osborne, group director of regulatory policy for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said: ‘The difference between the price holidaymakers might see when they first search for a flight and the lowest price actually available can be £100 or more for a family of four.”
He added, “Consumers should be presented with clear information about the price of their flight throughout the booking process, so they can make fair comparisons between different airlines. Most airlines have changed their websites and adverts to include all unavoidable charges, and Ryanair and Jet2.com are committed to doing so by summer.”
Air Travel Advisory Bureau Chairman, Tony White said,” It’s about time this happened. There are still a lot of unseen hurdles for UK air passengers to negotiate but at least this is a step in the right direction. There is still a lot of work to done.”
The CAA said consumers have raised concerns over additional charges for changing their details, the clarity on pricing of optional extras such as choosing onboard seating, and credit card fees and charges – all of which can vary considerably depending on the airline and the credit or bank card – which it will be looking into in the future.