Find the cheapest flight deal

20 July 2012

Aer Lingus, BMI Baby, Eastern Airways, easyJet, Flybe, German Wings, Jet2, Lufthansa, Ryanair, Thomas Cook, Thomson (TUI) and Wizz Air will all have to include the cost of paying by debit card in the headline price of their tickets by December this year.

They will also have to explain any extra charges for paying by credit card at the beginning of the transaction rather than springing them on customers at the end.

"This is a great outcome for the millions of people who buy flights online. It is important that the cost presented when they search for a flight is realistic and they are not surprised by extra charges," says Clive Maxwell, the OFT's chief executive.

Ryanair has stated that its £6 admin fee will be included in advertised fares by 1 August, and will be included in the website headline prices by 1 December.

EasyJet, Eastern Airways, Flybe, German Wings, Lufthansa, Thomas Cook, TUI and Wizz Air have all also brought the charges into their upfront pricing structures.

It's a step in the right direction by the budget airlines as many of them advertise fares that simply don't exist once all the additional fares and charges are included.

So how can you get the cheapest possible airline deal?

  • Use a comparison website such as or to find out which airline is offering the cheapest fares to your chosen destination.
  • Consider whether you want to be able to pick a good seat before you fly or if you are happy to take what's available on the day. If you would prefer a booked seat, be aware some airlines will charge you for the privilege.
  • Check what additional fees and charges your airline will levy and how you can adapt to avoid them. For example, if it charges for putting luggage in the hold, consider travelling light with only hand luggage.
  • Be careful how you pay. Fees for paying with certain cards are common. For example, a family of four buying flights with easyJet would pay £30 in payment fees if they book with a credit card rather than a debit card.

Travellers to Spain face additional tax

Anyone visiting Spain this summer may face a surprise new airport tax. Spain's 2012 Budget includes an increase in passenger tax of 18.9% on average, but it varies depending on which airport you fly into.

For example, passengers coming into Madrid- Barajas would see the tax rise from €6.95 (£5.49) to €14.44, while at Barcelona's El Prat airport it will rise from €6.12 to €13.44.

The rise came into effect from 1 July but is being applied retrospectively to anyone who has already booked flights that land in Spain after that date. It is up to the airlines whether they absorb the additional tax themselves or pass it on to customers.

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