ECJ ruling against misleading air fares
When buying airline tickets in the past, one could be faced with unexpected additional costs that were not initially included in the original price quotation. This could be VAT for domestic flights, the use of a credit card from a credit card operator with whom the airline had not concluded a special agreement, or special fees for different check-in methods.
We have reported that similar tricks have been used in the past to make airfares look cheaper at first than the customers were charged in the end.
In a recent lawsuit, Ryanair was fined by the Italian competition authority for unfair business practices because the final prices did not correspond to the advertising offers. This was then challenged by Ryanair and the case was referred to the European Court of Justice for consideration. The ECJ ruled in favour of the competition protectors (Case C-28/19) and obliges airlines to provide transparent price information during the booking process on the internet. Airlines must indicate the price including all foreseeable and unavoidable costs for the customer and such charges must be included in the total price displayed from the beginning of the booking.