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EU calls for full disclosure of airfare charges

Bloomberg News

The European Parliament said airlines must include taxes and fees in advertised fares to prevent hidden costs for travelers, expanding a passenger rights campaign.

The European Union assembly approved a law requiring airlines such as Air France-KLM Group, Europe's biggest carrier, and Ryanair, the region's largest low-cost operator, to include "all applicable taxes, non-avoidable charges, surcharges and fees" in ticket ads.

"We seek to protect consumers from misleading information," said Arunas Degutis, a Lithuanian member who steered the legislation through the EU Parliament today in Strasbourg, France. European governments still need to give their approval.

The EU aims to bolster passenger rights as airline travel grows after deregulation in Europe.

In the last three years, the 27-nation bloc has boosted compensation for travelers stranded because of overbooked or canceled flights, given disabled passengers the right to free assistance in airports, published a "blacklist" of unsafe airlines from non-EU countries and required travel agents to disclose the carriers they book for customers.

The law approved by the Parliament would force airlines to give a breakdown of the costs on which fares are based. The draft legislation creates categories for "taxes and other state charges and duties," as well as "charges, duties, fees and other costs for the benefit of the airlines" and "charges, duties, fees and other costs for the benefit of the airport operators."

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