Clarity of air fares…finally!
March 1st, 2011 by elisa

A sigh of relief from millions of passengers as most airlines flying from the UK, according to the Civil Aviation Authority, are now displaying final fares clearly. This allows consumers to compare prices more easily.

The organisation has been working with airlines to ensure their websites list prices that include taxes and fees and says British Airways, Virgin, Bmi and other traditional airlines now comply with this procedure. Easyjet apparently complied early as have Monarch, Bmibaby and Flybe which have all taken steps to make their pricing more transparent.

The CAA said Ryanair and had also formally agreed to display full prices up front on their sites by 28th April and 1st June respectively.

The CAA has also published Top Tips for Tickets to also help consumers to get the best air fare, some of which include:

1. Because there are many excellent prices on offer, always shop around for the best deal and check you are comparing like with like before you book.

2. Check whether the prices on the screen are the final prices before committing yourself.

3. When booking your ticket, make sure you are only paying for things you want – travel insurance, reserving a seat, or hold baggage are common optional extras.

4. Before you confirm your booking, double-check all the details, especially travellers’ names and flight dates, as many airlines charge to change them later.

CAA Group Director of Regulatory Policy Iain Osborne 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.

“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 are committed to doing so by summer. In the meantime holidaymakers should follow our Top Tips for Tickets and be aware that headline prices may not include unavoidable costs in some cases.”

The next target for the CAA to improve are the charges for changing passenger details, the clarity of optional extras pricing and credit card fees.

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