Holidaymakers warned over hidden fees

22-11-2006

Holidaymakers warned over hidden fees
Consumers have today been warned to be wary of travel agents' offers that appear to good to be true.

The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) says that initially cheap-looking deals quickly go up in price once necessary extras such as fuel charges are factored into the cost.

Research issued today from the trade association cites the example of a seven-night holiday in Benidorm that ultimately cost £266 for two adults despite being advertised at £59 per person.

In addition, the TSI says that a £95 per person flight from Heathrow airport to Brussels spiralled into £298 for two after airport taxes and other levies were included.

Bruce Teloar, lead officer on travel at the TSI, today called on the Office of Fair Trading to use its enforcement powers to prevent budget travel companies and airlines from confusing travellers.

"This misleading and illegal cocktail of confusion is being allowed to flourish and consumers are clearly being enticed to check out particular holidays and flights with unrealistic prices.

"Travel firms are adding the word 'from' - as in 'Lanzarote, from £75' - and then think it is acceptable to fail to offer any holidays which even come close to that magical figure, once must-pay supplements are added in," he said.

"Consumers have more choice than ever before but are being let down."

Mr Teloar added that stabilising fuel prices should mean travel agents brining down prices rather than upping them.


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