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AirlineTicket Prices

I saw this on CNN and thought I'd pass it along:

Airlines must quote a total price for European tickets

The European Parliament this year approved a new "transparency" rule mandating that airfares have to include all taxes, fees and charges added to the basic ticket price and known at the time of publication.

It is expected to take effect either in late 2008 or early 2009, according to the EU. At least theoretically, that should mean no more unpleasant surprises when you buy a ticket for travel within Europe or to Europe. Under the rule, airfare or air rate, taxes, airport charges and other charges, surcharges or fees, such as those related to security or fuel, have to be included in the price of the ticket.

And any optional price supplements must be communicated in "a clear, transparent and unambiguous way at the start of any booking process" and allow passengers to opt-in for them, according to the EU.

Stanley Gyoshev, a co-founder of the online travel site, was one of the key proponents of the change. He says there are two reasons why American air carriers may have no choice but to adopt these transparency rules, too.

"For one, the federal government could increase consumer protection by using laws relating to unfair advertising -- by insisting that airlines only advertise products and pricing which is readily available to the traveler without undue restrictions and red tape," he told me.

"The second is that since major international airlines are selling tickets in Europe, they will need to comply with the EU regulations. Since they need to make consumer-friendly changes to their European Web sites and advertising, we are hoping there will be some carry-over to the U.S. sites."

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