The Advertising Standards Authority is investigating complaints
that the airline industry is misleading customers by promoting fares
which exclude the cost of airport tax and duty, which can increase the
price by up to 25%.
The ASA has received two complaints from the Air Transport Users Council
about fares advertised by BA and British Midland which do not include
such extras. However, the complaint could apply to all those UK airlines
which follow a similar policy toward advertising fares, and any ruling
against the two airlines will affect the entire industry.
For example, in the UK, passengers are required to pay air passenger
duty of pounds 5 on domestic or European flights and pounds 10 on
Outside the UK, airport duty varies.
The case will go before the ASA council in a few weeks and an
adjudication is expected soon.
Consumer affairs minister Nigel Griffiths has announced his support for
the ASA investigation.
In addition, airline pricing is the subject of a review by the Local
Authority Trading Body on Food and Trading Standards (Lacots), the
representative body of local authority trading standard departments.
Pricing transparency in the industry will be the subject of a meeting
called by Lacots on August 19.