07 July 2008

It's that old "Truth in Advertising" thing again.

I think everyone would prefer that there is a real price that you can use to compare flights. This doesn't exist. So airlines do all that they can to obfuscate the final price you will pay.

I hate it - you hate it.

I recently looked at Rick Seeney's ancillary charges (see earlier post). I also looked at the way the airlines use fuel surcharges in many cases which while I applaud the use as a way of knowing what is not within the airlines' power - they still manipulate it.

Apparently the EC and various national bodies also think the same way. According to CAPA: Denmark's National Consumer Agency has published the names of six European airlines it stated are still using illegal marketing practices, despite warnings from the European Commission following a review last year (Reuters, 07-Jul-08). Ryanair, Air Berlin, Air Baltic, SkyEurope, Aer Lingus, Brussels Airlines and Internet travel agent, Seat24, were named by the agency. Their crime - hiding the real price.

So SkyEurope is trying to change the model:

“Our customers have told us it’s important to be completely transparent about the final price of their journey with SkyEurope… We have eliminated the complex structure of surcharges and fees and we have implemented one easy to understand price point,” Steven Greenway, CCO.

Let's hope they are successful



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