Airlines will be banned from publishing fares that do not include all extra charges under legislation proposed today.

The legislation has been drafted by the European Commission to force airlines to publish fares in full, rather than stripping out taxes and charges. The aim is to enable travellers to easily compare fares between airlines, according to European Commission transport chief, Jacques Barrot, who announced the proposals.

If approved, the new law is unlikely to affect British Airways, which quotes fares on its website that include all charges, but it would force Ryanair and easyJet to change their strategies, as both airlines currently display fares that do not include taxes and charges until a late stage in the online booking process.

The Commission claims that airlines should publish the full price of tickets on advertising or whenever a fare is published, but the efficiency of the ruling will depend on the detail in the wording – Ryanair claims that it already offers passengers transparency by detailing the breakdown of taxes and charges, even if it is not given until a late stage.

In a briefing with the Commission in Brussels today, transport officials assured consumers that the legislation would stipulate that full fares be quoted on airline websites wherever published, not just at the end of the booking.

Get the full story at Times Online