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Wednesday 6 September 2023

Crackdown on hidden air ticket charges

There are few things as annoying as hidden charges when you try to book a flight - charges like those imposed by Jetstar in Australia when you book online.

Airlines add charges for several extra services, including priority boarding, checked bags, in-flight meals and seat selection, even for paying with a credit card.

These charges are often initially hidden and make comparison shopping on flight prices problematic.

In the UK, airlines could face a crackdown on hidden fees, as part of a new government plan to improve transparency for people shopping online.

A public consultation will look at ways to end the "drip pricing". Travel Mole reports.

Government officials say the practice is ‘widespread’ and spans beyond the airline industry to many other sectors.

Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake says the new proposals would make sure consumers have "the clearest and most accurate information upfront" before making a purchase.

“Fake reviews and hidden fees can make choices increasingly confusing and leaves customers unsure about what product is right for them.

“We’ll be listening to industry to ensure these new regulations work for businesses too and don’t generate unnecessary burdens.”

Airlines have argued that ‘unbundling’ extra services gives consumers more choice.

Industry body Airlines UK said: “Delivering value for consumers is at the heart of an airline business.

“UK airlines look forward to responding to the consultation.”

Time for similar action in Australia? 

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