Tackling the real cost of flying?

Aug 8, 2011 | Blogs

A more comfortable take-off lies ahead.

The EU Commission has launched an inquiry into those ‘headline grabbing’ tickets that are actually well below what passengers pay.

Late stage fees, such as the use of credit or debit cards, booking fees and luggage fees confuse consumers and distort the travel market. And the list of add-ons, such as Ryan Air’s ‘EU261 Levy’, is growing despite existing regulations.

British MEP, Brian Simpson, who chairs the European parliament transport committee, believes the investigation is long overdue. In his letter from the, EU Transport Commissioner, Simpson stated: Passengers have a right to receive basic services for … their air tickets. It is necessary to ensure price transparency.

EU regulation 1008/2008 does require that the final price of air fares should be indicated at all times, including unavoidable or foreseeable fees. Commercial practice has however, segregated specific services that may be avoidable but which up to recently formed part of the basic fare. The new inquiry will look at how this legislation may be strengthened.

Including the true cost of aviation on the planet in every ticket will have to wait once more.