The Canadian government announced that it now requires airlines to feature total prices for air travel, including all mandatory fees and taxes, in online pricing, print advertisement, and other outlets. This move parallels the requirements already in effect in the U.S., Europe, and several other regions.
So far, Canadian airlines may be nearing full compliance, but they haven’t arrived yet. A check of the Air Canada website for a Toronto-Edinburgh flight, for example, initially displays a low-ball price of $324, as does the subsequent matrix of dates and flight options. But when you click on any of the fare figures, a pop up reveals that the real fare is the phony $324 base fare plus a fuel surcharge of $412 and other taxes and surcharges of $212, for a total of $948. On the next page, where Air Canada tries to up sell you into a higher class, it lists the lowest Tango one-way fare of $161 each way, with Tango Plus at $304, and Latitude at $854, to which you have to add the same fuel surcharge and taxes.
Sooner or later, I expect that Air Canada will modify its displays to reflect a more accurate picture. In the meantime, however, because the airline can continue to scam at least some of its travelers with fuel surcharges, you’ll still see some artificial breakdowns of the true fares.
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