Airlines face crackdown on 'hidden fees'

Credit: PA

Airlines could face a crackdown on adding "hidden charges" added on to the price of a ticket for extras ranging from choosing a seat to re-printing lost boarding passes.

The Civil Aviation Authority has announced a review to examine whether costs are presented in an "open and clear" way.

The regulator will also be looking to determine whether passengers "understand what they are actually paying for", a spokesman said.

The review will look at extra charges on top of the standard ticket price for services including:

  • Choosing a seat

  • Changing the name on a ticket

  • Checking in at the airport instead of online

  • Reprinting boarding passes

A growing number of airlines are charging fees for such 'extra' services and they can vary considerably between companies.

Changing the name on a ticket currently costs £160 for a Ryanair flight, up to £50 with easyJet and £35 forshort-haul flights or £50 for long-haul flights with Thomas Cook.

Choosing to check in for a Ryanair flight at the airport instead of through its website can land passengers with a bill of £45 while it demands £15 for reprinting boarding passes.