ADVERTISING & PROMOTION: Travel’s true cost exposed

Airlines and holiday companies are to be forced to include all the hidden costs of travel in their advertising following new regulations imposed by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Airlines and holiday companies are to be forced to include all the

hidden costs of travel in their advertising following new regulations

imposed by the Advertising Standards Authority.



The new rules, which are being introduced under the British Codes of

Advertising and Sales Promotion, could increase the advertised prices of

some tickets by as much as half.



From January, all price advertising will have to include taxes, duties

and other charges paid by the customer when purchasing tickets.



This will include air passenger duty, which doubled at the beginning of

the month, and foreign-levied taxes.



The policy changes follow complaints from the Air Transport Users

Council that consumers were being misled on the true costs of travel.

The decision has been welcomed by consumer affairs minister Nigel

Griffiths, the Association of British Travel Agents and the Association

of Independent Tour Operators.



’It cannot be right that flights are advertised at such incredibly low

prices when, in fact, consumers in some cases have to pay up to a half

or a third more than the headline price,’ said ASA director-general

Matti Alderson.



’A family of four can expect to pay over pounds 200 in taxes on return

flights to America. Sums of this magnitude should be included in the

headline price, otherwise consumers will be misled.’



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