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ECC Italy

Air transport

Tickets refund and other administrative issues

 

The ECC-Net network receives also complaints about the ticket refund, for example when a passenger cannot use the ticket. Normally the possibility to get a refund depends on the purchased fare rate ( cheap tickets usually are not refundable), but there are also cost headings that shall always be reimbursed to passengers. Here you will find more information about it.

For any other administrative issue, please contact the ECC-Net.

Cost headings in air tickets

When buying an air ticket it is important to know all the headings that compose the final price and therefore the real cost of the flight. Passengers have in fact the right to know the final cost of a ticket and to choose among the different offers the one that he/she prefers. Every choice should be the result of clear information.

The need to have clear information has become more and more urgent since the liberalization of the air transport and the birth of new companies, which contributed to the fall of prices.

Low cost companies promised very cheap prices, but other costs were lacking in the offer and only at the end of process a passenger knew the final ticket price. This damaged the passenger’s right to have  transparent information.

At national level the so called “legge Bersani ( law n. 40, 2 April 2007) intervened in the field and forbad “ flights offers and adverts that do not display the total prince, inclusive of taxes and other extra fees”.

All the adverts that do not compel with the law are considered as misleading and therefore can be sanctioned by the Antitrust Authority.

At European level the Regulation 1008/2008  establishes common rules for the operation of air services within the EU, that have to be respected by European and extra European carriers.

The Regulation states that the published price for the service shall include the fare and all applicable taxes, charges, surcharges and fees which are unavoidable and foreseeable at the time of publication.

In addition, details must be given of the different components of the price:

- air fare or air rate;

- taxes;

- airport charges; and

- other charges, surcharges or fees, such as those related to security or fuel.

The most important price elements have to be easily accessible to the consumers, who must have the possibility to compare the different prices and offers and to freely choose the one they prefer.

Optional price supplements ( such as for the insurance or the checked baggage) shall be communicated in a clear, transparent and unambiguous way at the start of any booking process and their acceptance by the customer shall be on an ‘opt-in’ basis.

Access to air fares and air rates for air services shall be granted without any discrimination based on the nationality or the place of residence of the customer: all passengers leaving from the EU airports are entitled to the same air fares.      

When buying a ticket it is important to check the carrier’s conditions concerning the flight cancellation or change. These conditions may vary according to the chosen air fare: cheaper the ticket is, higher the penalties and the fees will be, up to the refund of only taxes and airport charges.

It is therefore important to know and distinguish exactly which are the price components:

- air fare: the flight cost;

YQ: a unique code for the security costs, insurance and the Fuel Surcharge, which is applied when there is a sudden increase in the fuel price and it varies from a minimum of 32 € to a maximum of 70€ per segment;

IT: boarding charges: the costs that the airline pays to the airport handling society only if its customers use their services, as the check in or boarding operations. The costs vary according to the airport and to the segment length, from a minimum of 3,70 € to a maximum of 8,26€;

VT: charge for passenger and hand-baggage security: the cost the airline pays for the security checks on passengers and hand-baggage, which is 1,81€;

EX: charge for the checked baggage controls, which include x rays for passengers’ security. The cost vary according to the airport from a minimum of 1,10€ to a maximum of 3,77€;

MJ: charge for assistance to disabled or reduced mobility passengers;

FN: VAT on airport charges

XT: code that often sums up all the costs related to taxes, when there is not enough room for a detailed explanation;

YR: charge related to the ticket sale, which varies according to the purchase channel ( travel agent, internet…);

HB: surcharge of the Municipality, Labour, Health and Social Policies and Interior Ministries, which is 4,50€;

NB: airport charges ( which vary from a minimum of 7,60€ to a maximum of 15,90€ + VAT), municipal and ministerial charges (which is 4,50€), shall always be refunded to the passenger who renounces to fly, even when he/she is not entitled – according to contractual conditions- to refund of the flight price: headings HB- EX- VT- IT- FN shall always be refunded!!

It is important to remember that when buying a ticket at a travel agent's there is also a travel agent’s charge to pay, which is not foreseen when buying directly from the airline’s website or guichet.

 

 

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