New consumer protection laws to combat drip pricing and hidden fees are in the works by the government.
The Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill came up in the King’s Speech which proposes new powers to strengthen price transparency.
Drip pricing is ubiquitous in low cost flight pricing, such as added fees like checked and excess luggage, priority seating and even for printing out boarding passes.
The drip pricing problem extends far beyond travel, with event tickets, online food ordering and sending packages just a few examples.
Which? describes drip pricing as an ‘underhanded way of squeezing extra cash out of consumers.’
“Airlines are making it difficult to compare ticket prices by adding fees for add-ons like seat selection late in the buying process,” said Rocio Concha, Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy.
Which” welcomed moves for legislation to tackle unfair pricing practices.
“However, it’s disappointing that the Prime Minister has failed to combat routine lawbreaking from airlines that often leaves passengers feeling abandoned and out of pocket.”
It once again called for the CAA to be giving fining powers to hold airlines to account.
Airlines have defending their so-called drip pricing tactics.
“Unbundling products and offering greater choice that consumers demand is an important way that airlines compete,” Airlines UK said.
Across all sectors, the bill could save consumers £9.7 billion over 10 years with stronger laws and more competition.