We believe it is important that the price paid by a consumer is as transparent as possible so that customers are aware what additional charges are being imposed on them, on top of the basic airline fare. Indeed, the European Commission has called on airlines to show charges and taxes separately from the fare on the ticket.
The passenger service charge change we, and most other airlines in the UK, have made achieves this and brings the UK into line with the rest of Europe. During the past five years, all carriers at European airports have separated this charge from their ticket prices.
It is never our intention to mislead consumers. Our practice for displaying the passenger service charge follows standard international airline industry procedures. Similar charges at other airports around the world have been displayed in exactly the same way for many years. However, we are lobbying IATA, the International Air Transport Association, to make changes to the standard airline ticket format as soon as possible, to make it crystal clear to passengers that the additional charges displayed on a ticket can cover fees and other charges as well as taxes.
We have taken legal advice on this matter and our lawyers assure us that we are not in breach of any trades description or consumer contracts legislation.
Over a period of time, air fares rise and fall. In real terms, air fares have fallen dramatically during the past ten years.