The European Commission is to consider banning airlines from charging passengers for extras and is looking to push for a ‘one flight, one price’ policy.
The move comes after complaints from travellers and watchdogs that add-on costs can actually double the original price of a flight.
Supposed low cost airlines have become renowned for advertising a flight at one price but then adding on extras for things such as check-in fees, credit and debit card fees and extra luggage fees.
The final straw seems to have been when Ryanair recently added a ‘compensation fee’ to every booking. The €2 charge will go towards any compensation that the airline has to pay out, for instance costs following last year’s ash cloud, and cancellations due to snow or strikes. Incidents like this cost Ryanair £88m last year, the fee however will rake in a staggering £150m a year for the controversial airline.
European Commission vice-president, Sim Kallas is reviewing air passenger rights and is determined to stamp out the extras being charged. He has taken on the case after receiving complaints from the Labour Euro MP and chairman of the EU transport committee, Brian Simpson who is demanding a better deal for travellers.
Mr Simpson declared “passengers are being ripped off by a seemingly endless list of charges that airlines add to the prices they advertise. Airlines are making millions by forcing holidaymakers to pay one fee to use credit and debit cards, pay another amount for taxes and fuel surcharges. Then they pay again to choose a seat and then pay even more for the pleasure of bringing a bag.”
Mr Simpson was also appalled by the fact that many passengers who do not realise they have to check-in online, face a further fee when they arrive at the airport for their flight. He concluded “When you are booking a flight, the price that you see at the beginning of your search should be the same price that you actually pay at the end.”