Sun sets on penny flight advertising

The era of penny flights advertising has drawn to an abrupt end after the European Parliament today agreed to ban airlines from marketing fares that do not include the taxes and charges passengers have to pay.The new regulation is expected to come into force across the EU by the end of this year.

The European Parliament in Strasbourg is concerned many airlines are still misleading passengers, and that people end up paying a lot more because there are extras that hadn’t been made properly aware to them at the start.

Some European countries have already banned such adverts which appear to offer potential customers the chance to fly across Europe for less than a Euro.

Ryanair, has been accused of being one of the culprits. In April this year the Office of Fair Trading launched a probe into the Europe’s largest low-cost airline after the Advertising Standards Authority found it had breached rules seven times in two years.

And in February the Irish airline temporarily shut down its website - in part to comply with an order by UK market regulators to make prices on its website clearer to consumers.


The 35-member Association of European Airlines (AEA) has welcomed today’s changes.

“I think it’s in response to consumers getting a little bit fed up with the fact that what they pay doesn’t always bear a great deal of resemblance to what they’re offered,” the AEA’s David Henderson said.

“Airlines now in general I think are happy that clarity has been restored and that the consumer is being given the correct information from now on,” he says.