The TSI has criticised firms for advertising holidays at prices that do not include must-have extras, such as taxes or fuel supplements.

The TSI has urged the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to halt the practice.

Travel industry group ABTA said its code included rules not to mislead but some low-cost operators ignored them.

A random check of online travel firms found several examples of vast differences between the advertised and actual price.

For example, one firm advertised a seven-night holiday in Benidorm from £59 per person but after compulsory extra charges were included, such as fuel supplements, the cost of the holiday rose to £266 for two adults.

"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," Bruce Treloar, TSI lead officer on travel said.

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