Published On: Mon, Oct 9th, 2023

‘Drop the drip’: Airlines urged to axe hidden travel charges | UK | News

I am sure we all know the feeling. You think you’ve found an absolute bargain on a last-minute getaway or a family holiday.

You’re expecting to pay a certain price for it, but then you’re whacked with a charge for priority boarding. And then another, often expensive, charge for luggage. And then yet another fee to sit together as a family.

By the time you eventually get around to paying the final price, what was initially thought as being a good deal ends up looking pretty expensive.

These “dripped”, or hidden, fees have become more commonplace and are costing consumers around £1.6billion every single year.

While it is understandable for, say airlines or other companies, to charge extra for genuine perks and benefits, some of these sneaky fees are either not essential to the purchase or are avoidable altogether.

Some airlines are notorious for this, and customers booking their next holiday are the most likely to face at least three dripped fees.

The biggest of those is luggage, which, for most people, particularly families, is impossible to travel without. Sometimes these fees are hiking the price of a ticket by at least 50%. That is why the Government is clamping down on hidden fees to help protect consumers.

As set out by the Prime Minister in the summer, we’re working with airlines and other businesses to help ease the cost of living and enable hard-working families to do the things they enjoy, such as going on holiday, or a weekend break, at a fair price.

We aren’t trying to tell companies what to charge customers.

But what we do want is for them to be honest and upfront about the cost of the final product.

If there are compulsory costs for luggage or transaction fees for concert tickets, then these need to be stated clearly at the start of the booking process, not hidden at the far end.

There is support for these measures, not only from readers of the Express, I am sure, but also from consumer groups such as Which? and the British Retail Consortium.

Put simply, consumers have the right to know at the very start what they are buying and roughly how much it will cost.

By ensuring companies are more upfront about what they are charging, there will be more competition between companies, ultimately resulting in lower costs for customers. We are shining a spotlight on these hidden fees so that they don’t stay hidden for long.

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