20 JUNE 2016
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The Civil Aviation Authority is to investigate airline charges after Northern Ireland MP Jim Shannon raised a question in Parliament about hidden fees.
He spoke out after it emerged airlines in Europe made almost £13bn last year through additional charges and the sale of extras including food and insurance.
Transport minister Robert Goodwill said the CAA “will start work on unfair contract terms with the airlines this summer … with the aim of ensuring the rights and obligations of the consumers and businesses are fair and balanced and consumers are not being penalised by unfair contract terms”.
Media reports last week claimed passengers on some airlines are being charged up to £160 to change a name on a flight ticket.
Choosing to check-in for a flight at the airport instead of online can lead to a bill of up to £45, while asking for a boarding pass to be reissued can cost £15, it is claimed.
Goodwill said every airline in the UK will be reviewed to establish whether fees are presented in an “open and clear” way to prevent passengers being saddled with unexpected extra expenses.
The CAA said the investigation was “to make sure people understand what they are actually paying for".
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
franco mancassola, honolulu HI
Last week I made a flight reservation and asked for an aisle seat; “that will be $40 extra or $80 round trip” I was told. When I asked why, the reply was that an aisle seat is considered a “premium seat” “What if I don’t have the $80 extra then what happens? I was told to try my luck and take what seats were left, most probably in the middle of the row. So I caved in and paid for the “premium” seat. On board, I discovered that my “premium” aisle seat was in fact a “penalty” seat. The gentleman seated on the inside next to me must have had some bladder problem. Every 20 minutes he tapped my shoulder, muttered an “excuse me” and I had to get up to let him out. In addition to his weak bladder, he was a restless fitness fanatic because he got in and out of his seat to stretch his legs, walk up and down the aisle, fiddle constantly in the overhead bin At the end of the flight I was exhausted; irritated at having been conned to pay $80 bucks for what turned out to be “a seat from Hell”!
Michael Edwards, UK
As a result of lower fares provided on the airlines web site, more people are opting to book direct regardless of any booking conditions or restrictions, as these are generally not made clear and too complicated to understand. When booking with a travel agent these conditions and restrictions are simply shown prior to ticket issue.