Brussels – Rules designed to stop airlines from advertising deceptively cheap tickets are due to come into force on Saturday across the European Union.
Jointly approved by the EU’s 27 member states and by the European Parliament, the rules require airlines to include all taxes and charges in their published ticket prices.
Officials in Brussels want to see an end to advertisements promising 0- or 1-euro (dollar) tickets, with extra charges hidden behind an asterisk. They also want to ensure that the full cost of a ticket is immediately visible to the customer during the booking process.
‘Fair competition is the key to success: with price transparency, passengers will know in advance how much they are going to pay and will be able to make informed choices,’ said EU Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani.
Airlines are also required to publish the exact breakdown of the different components that make up a ticket price – such as taxes, airport charges and other fees – and must stop selling the same ticket for different prices in different member states.
Furthermore, passengers will no longer be asked to ‘opt-out’ of extras such as travel insurance or baggage fees. Instead, they will have to tick the relevant boxes first.
And in a bid to avoid sudden bankruptcies by new airlines, national regulators must now ensure that carriers have enough money to operate their flights for at least 12 months.
Since the new rules must be enforced by individual member states, the exact way in which they will be applied could vary slightly from country to country, officials warned.