Air Services Regulation
Regulation 1008/2008 (Air Service Regulation) is a general regulation for airlines covering several issues – from granting an operating license, leasing, public service obligations etc. Especially relevant when it comes to the distribution of air services is the issue of price transparency which is also regulated in the Air Services Regulation.
It requires that a final price is always indicated and that it includes besides the applicable air fare all applicable taxes, charges, surcharges and fees that are unavoidable and foreseeable. It further requires the specification of the a) air fare, b) taxes, c) airport charges and d) other charges, surcharges and fees. Optional price supplements shall be communicated in a clear, transparent and unambiguous way at the start of a booking process.
If properly enforced, Regulation 1008/2008 would prevent discrimination based on the nationality, the place of residence of the customer or the place of establishment of the ticket seller within the EU and in combination with the CRS Code of Conduct allow for a real functioning market place in air distribution. The Air Services Regulation is currently under revision. Besides a proper enforcement, it is important to
- Keep the final price requirements
- Keep the non-discrimination requirements
- Include all non-refundable components in the fare and clearly differentiate between refundable and non-refundable components
- Require airlines to provide optional supplements (ancillary services) to all channels without discrimination to allow for comparison shopping and compare apples with apples
- Define minimum services not subject to supplementary prices
- Current version of the Air Services Regulation (Regulation 1008/2008)