CAA to launch clampdown on hidden fees imposed by airlines

Civil Aviation Authority has launched a watchdog service with plans to review every airline selling tickets in the UK to assess whether costs are presented in an “open and clear” way to prevent travellers being saddled with unexpected extra expenses, the authority said.

Charges for basic services such as name changes, checking in at the airport rather than online and re-issuing boarding passes will be scrutinised by the watchdog. Currently, changing the name on a flight ticket costs BPS160 with Ryanair, up to BPS50 with easyJet and BPS35 for short-haul flights or BPS50 for long-haul flights with Thomas Cook.

Checking in for a Ryanair flight at the airport instead of through its website can cost passengers BPS45. Re-issuing a boarding pass at the terminal by the Irish airline requires a payment of BPS15.

CAA said the investigation is so people understand what they are actually paying for. CAA plans to start work on unfair contract terms with airlines in accordance with CAA´s strategic plan 2016-2021. Reviews will include airlines´ terms and conditions with the aim of ensuring the rights and obligations of the consumers and businesses are fair and balanced and consumers are not being penalised by unfair contract terms.