Knowledge Platform

Pricing Transparency

General provisions on pricing transparency can be found in the Directive on Consumer Rights 2011/83/EC, the Consumer Protection Directive 2011/83/EU, the Directive on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices 2005/29/EC, the Unfair Contract Terms Directive 93/13/EEC and the Directive on Electronic Commerce 2000/31/EC [21]. 

The Consumer Protection Directive applies to the extent that it relates to protecting consumers against hidden costs in distance contracts and excessive fees for the use of a particular means of payment.

A distance contract covers any situation where a sale is concluded without the simultaneous presence of the consumer and the trader; therefore all sales to EU consumers carried out via a website are highly likely to be caught by the Directive.

Essentially, to ensure pricing transparency, prices must be communicated in a clear and unambiguous manner. In practice, this means that the ‘final price’ should mean the final price paid by the consumer.

By way of an example, when selling a flight, the ‘final price’ must include the air fare, air taxes and charges or surcharges and any fees which are unavoidable, as well as any additional payments relating to any extra optional services the consumer has explicitly chosen to purchase on an ‘opt-in’ basis (for example checked baggage allowance).

The Package Travel Directive regulates the pricing of packaged travel arrangements. 

[21] The regulation of pricing on a mode specific level tends to be regulated at a national level. However, note that the Air Services Regulation 1008/2007 regulates the pricing transparency of air fares and air rates for air services from an airport located in the territory of a Member State of the EU. It applies to air fares and air rates available to the general public, published in any form, including on the internet.