CAA launches comparison tool for airline extras

Friday, 3rd February

UK holidaymakers can now easily compare the optional extra fees charged by airlines when booking their travel, thanks to a new tool launched by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The Civil Aviation Authority, the UK's specialist aviation regulator, has published a summary of the optional charges levied by the top airlines in the UK in one, easy-to-use price comparison document. Information on the cost of taking hold luggage on board, having an in-flight meal and reserving specific seats is all included, as well as a range of other optional charges that airlines may apply.

The information has been published to coincide with peak holiday booking season, and is designed to make sure passengers have all the information they need in order to choose the flight that best suits them. 

Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of the CAA said: 

“The diversity of UK aviation offers excellent choice and value to UK consumers with airlines adopting various business models. To really benefit from that choice consumers want to know the full price picture. For some passengers and airlines the headline ticket price will be the most expensive part of the booking, whilst for others the impact of optional fees and charges can change their view of the best overall price. 

“Our table allows passengers to easily compare the optional fees that airlines charge and it’s important to consider those charges alongside the ticket price and the extra charges that could be applied before making their booking.”

Transport Secretary Justine Greening said:

“Consumers want to know that the price on the label is what they’ll end up paying. But many air tickets seem to come with unexpected charges for everything from choosing a seat to just ‘booking’ the ticket. 

"I hope this new information from the CAA will help, which is why we are legislating to give the CAA even more powers to ensure transparency for consumers. Ultimately, however, it’s time that airlines were far clearer cut with passengers about these add-on charges in the first place.” 

The fees and charges comparison table is part of a series of resources being made available by the CAA to help guide UK consumers through the 2012 peak holiday booking season. This also includes the online Passenger Portal – a one stop shop of information and advice for consumers to use before they book, ahead of their departure and after they return should they experience any problems during their travel. As part of this, the CAA will shortly publish further advice and guidance for consumers on what to look out for in booking terms and conditions. 

In addition to these resources, the CAA has also worked to ensure all airlines operating in the UK now comply with their obligation to display clearly all unavoidable fees, taxes and charges upfront in their booking processes. This follows extensive work with the airlines by the CAA, and along with the information on optional fees and charges published today, means consumers are now much better placed to see what the total cost of the flight they wish to book will be. 

The fees and charges comparison table is available to view at: airline fees and charges table

Visit the Passenger Portal at: passenger portal.