Airlines must advertise full cost of flights by next Christmas
By Sarah Schmidt, Postmedia News
December 16, 2011 10:36 AM
OTTAWA — Airlines will be required to advertise the full price of airfares by next Christmas, the Conservative government announced Friday.
The announcement comes 1,639 days after a law received royal assent requiring airlines to include all the extra fees, surcharges and taxes in airfare ads, so consumers aren't shocked when they see a total tally for their travel plans that exceeds the advertised airfare price.
A last-minute amendment in the Senate proposed by Liberal Senator Dennis Dawson stipulated that the new advertising rules were to come into effect on a date set by the federal cabinet. Consultations with airlines, who objected to the provisions, were to follow.
Junior cabinet minister Steven Fletcher announced Friday the coming into force of the clause at a news conference at the Ottawa International Airport. Pierre Poilievre, parliamentary secretary to Transport Minister Denis Lebel, was also on hand.
"Our government is committed to enhancing consumer protection while promoting fair competition by ensuring greater transparency of advertised airfares for Canadian travellers," Fletcher said. "This will allow consumers to easily determine the full cost of airfares in order to make informed choices."
Regulations will now be drafted, including consultations with stakeholders. The government expects the regulatory process to take about one year.
Consumer groups have repeatedly complained to the government about the delay in implementing the "all-in-one'' airfare advertising clause of the Canada Transportation Act, which passed Parilament in June 2007.
But Canada's airlines have maintained that it would be unfair to require them to advertise the final cost of a ticket because some foreign carriers could continue to advertise base fares on their websites, from which Canadian travellers can make purchases. And while Ontario and Quebec require agencies to include all fees and surcharges in their advertised prices, most provinces — which regulate how travel agents advertise — require no such provision for travel agencies.
ref. - http://www.edmontonjournal.com/travel/A ... story.html