Britain’s aviation watchdog is due to launch a review into hidden airlines charges after an MP raised concerns over Ryanair’s high costs of amending boarding passes and other travel documents.
Ryanair charges £160 to change a passenger name on a booking, £45 to check in at the airport and £15 to print a boarding pass.
Jim Shannon MP raised the issue in Parliament earlier this month following claims that airlines in Europe made almost £13bn last year through additional charges and the sale of extras including food and insurance.
Aviation minister Robert Goodwill last week told MPs that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) “will start work on unfair contract terms with the airlines this summer … 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.”
He added: “The administration fees the industry currently charges are part of the terms and conditions and as such, will form a part of this work.”
A CAA spokesman told the Telegraph that the organisation’s review, likely to start this month, will look into whether airlines are “being open, clear and transparent about what additional charges they impose in relation to tickets and make sure that consumers are aware of what they are paying for.”
Last month, more than 5,000 disgruntled Ryanair passengers launched a landmark £400 million class action suit against the budget airline over alleged 'unfair hidden charges'.
The shock legal bid has been gathering support after it was set up by online claims firm CaseHub.
The firm are now urging more passengers from across Europe to sign up to the appeal over the 'punitive' extra fees, which see some passengers forking out £160 just to change the name on their ticket.
Other airlines’ additional charges vary. To change the name on a booking, EasyJet charges up to £50; Flybe charges £40; Jet2 charges £35; and onarch up to £120.
A Ryanair spokesman said: "All Ryanair charges and fees are clearly outlined on the Ryanair.com website and throughout the entire booking process.
"Customers are asked to ensure that the details they enter at the time of booking are correct before completing their booking and we offer a 24 hour ‘grace period’ to correct minor booking errors."
The name change fee, "is charged in order to discourage and prevent unauthorised online travel agents, such as eDreams and Opodo, from ‘screenscraping’ Ryanair’s cheapest fares and reselling them on to unwitting consumers at hugely inflated costs", the spokesman added.
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