How Transparent Are Airline Charges?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Supposedly, we now have transparency in the way airlines price their flights.
In a pig’s eye we do.
Legislation, codes of conduct, agreements, advertising standards watchdogs and a host of either consumer or regulatory watchdogs have made airline fares easier to understand. Well if that’s true, I am a Martian. What we have had is some clean up and then the airlines have promptly responded by finding ways around it.
Not all airlines but some.
Just like financial services companies have enough small print at the bottom of their adverts to make you need a week to read it, you now need to wade through umpteen pages of booking in order to find out what you really pay.
How can any airline offer a return flight for under a tenner when credit card/ debit card charges and luggage charges will exceed that?
May be the time has come when airline advertising should quote a price based on the assumption of taking one bag in the hold and the credit card charge. That at least would give a fairer price. And I am not just having another go at Ryanair although charging to book in when it is mandatory to do so does take the biscuit. No, I am talking about charter airlines and some mainstream legacy airlines who price credit card charges differently from each other when credit card companies have virtually similar rates, who suddenly have dropped the size in hand baggage that you can take aboard and who change the rules about what cabin baggage means. Is it one bag, and a handbag and a laptop, one bag alone. Who knows anymore?
I am not moaning about the charges because airlines do have costs to pay out. I merely want customers to be told in easily seen advertising what they may be expected to pay
A friend travelling to Croatia in August saw his price jump by £180 for a family of four after the additions were added. Two people going to Poland saw £80 added in the same way.
Which? Holiday highlighted some of this last week noting that Ryanair charges had jumped, for credit card bookings, by 150% in the last 18 months.
We are not getting a fair deal.
It will be very interesting to see what you tell us next month when we launch our 5th annual customer care and service survey.

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