|EU looks at air passenger rights
18th May 2011
Many people that have booked their holidays to fly abroad this year will know how annoying and frustrating it can be to be stung for various charges that are often described as administrative charges but which, in most cases, cannot be avoided. Many of the low cost airlines are guilty of this practice where they charge the consumers a fee for using their debit or credit card even though they themselves pay nowhere near the fee that they charge for the transaction.
The European Commission has decided to review the right of air passengers after receiving a series of complaints about unfair charges by airlines from both watchdogs and customers who were annoyed about the seemingly rip off fees that were being charged. According to reports European Commission vice-president and transport commissioner Siim Kallas is now considering what is being called the 'one flight one price' ruling.
Labour MEP and chairman of the EU transport committee Brian Simpson is one person that is calling for rules to make prices and fees from these airlines more transparent, as is the consumer campaign group Which? It was Which? that filed a super-complaint in relation to this matter with the Office of Fair Trading. It said that low cost airlines were the worst offenders when it came to these fees, with airlines such as Ryanair charging customers a hefty fee for using their debit or credit card, which bumps up the cost of the ticket considerably.
An example was a return flight for four from London to Glasgow, which would cost £48 with Ryanair. However, with the £20 administrative charge each way, amounting to £40, this would double the cost of the booking even before extras such as baggage and check in fees have been added to the booking.
A spokesperson from Consumer Focus said that consumers were keen to see a model where the price that they saw was the price that they paid, but all too often they ended up paying at least double the advertised price once extras, booking fees, and mandatory costs had been added.