Holidaymakers urged to check the cost of airline extras before booking

Date: 05 February 2013

The millions of UK sun-seekers looking to book flights this winter have been urged to check the cost of any airline fees and charges to make sure they don’t end up paying for services they don’t want.

The warning comes from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), whose online tool helps people compare the costs of any extras charged by the top 22 airlines operating in the UK. It includes information on how much airlines charge passengers for checking in luggage, in-flight meals, reserved seating and a host of other services that passengers may have to pay for on top of the headline ticket price.

Originally launched in 2012, the fees and charges comparison table has been comprehensively reviewed and now includes the very latest information available from the most-used airlines in the UK. With the peak holiday booking season in full flow, the CAA is urging people to check the table before booking their flights to make sure they’re not left in the dark about any extra costs they may have to pay.

Iain Osborne, Group Director for Regulatory Policy at the CAA, said:

“Given the weather in the UK over the past few weeks there will be a lot of people looking hard at some of the deals airlines are offering for some winter sun at the moment. However, to make sure they don’t get caught out by unexpected extra costs, our table allows them to compare the different charges that airlines apply, and choose the flight that best suits them.”

More than 10,000 people have used the fees and charges comparison table since it first launched, and the fully updated version is now available from the CAA’s Passenger Portal. Further advice for passengers to use before they fly, on board the aircraft and after they return from their trip is also available from the portal.

Where fees and charges are not optional extras but unavoidable e.g. air passenger duty, they must by law be included in the price of the ticket at the start of the booking process and therefore clear to consumers. The CAA continues to work to make sure airlines and travel companies display prices to consumers correctly.

For further media information contact the CAA Press Office on: 020 7453 6030; press.office@caa.co.uk

Follow the CAA on @UK_CAA

Notes to editors

1. The fees and charges comparison table includes information on the optional fees and charges applied by the top airlines operating in the UK, based on scheduled flight numbers. All of the airlines included in the tool were consulted throughout its initial development.
2. The CAA reviews and publishes updated versions of the tool quarterly. It has also committed to actioning requests for amendments within three working days
3. The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy from an economic standpoint.