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
’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.’