Ottawa forces Cdn. airlines to advertise all-in prices
This morning, a recent headline got me browsing Air Canada’s website.
The airline quoted me $499 there, via Montreal and Vancouver, and $349 home, via Calgary. About $850 to Hawaii: cool!
Of course, then I went to the checkout, and all of a sudden taxes, fees, charges and surcharges brought me up over a thousand bucks. A lousy surprise, right? Almost … deceitful. Well, no more, says the federal government.
Today, Ottawa announced new regulations that will force Canadian airlines to clearly advertise what the passenger will pay, taxes, fees and everything included.
“This will allow consumers to easily determine the full cost of airfares in order to make informed choices,” Steven Fletcher, Minister of State for Transport, said Friday.
Certainly, this is a wondrous move of transparency. Chances are, you and a friend have discussed airfare before, someone’s quoted a price and you go, “Yeah, but what is the price really ?”
The new rules won’t go into effect for a year or so, the Star reports, but surely it’s about time.
Europe has had advertise-what-you-pay legislation in place since 2008 (nine euro Ryanair flights, anyone?), and the U.S., which currently imposes a few airfare regulations, will require all-in advertising beginning next month.
What this means for Canadians, then, is say goodbye to those “$99 seat sale” emails, unless, of course, airfare truly amounts to less than $100, taxes and fees included.
Notes the Globe and Mail, “Investigations by journalists have revealed that Canadian customers were being deceived by airlines advertising fares that omitted items like fuel surcharges that often add 50 per cent and more to the advertised cost.”
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money