Airlines are offering different fares for the same itineraries in different European Union member countries, according to a study by the Guild of European Business Travel Agents. The fare differences are in apparent violation of an EU regulation.
The EU regulation (1008/2008, Article 23§2) states that fares for air services from an airport located within a member state shall be made available “without any discrimination based on the nationality or the place of residence of the customer.”
The Guild of European Business Travel Agents (GEBTA) tested 11 itineraries and found “significant price discrepancies” in five of them, according to Isabelle Leroy, the guild’s legal advisor.
In two cases, fares were different for the same booking class in the same GDS in different countries, she said.
In three cases, a booking class with a lower fare was not available in all countries in the same GDS, and in one case the fare and YQ charge were different in two different CRSs in different countries, according to Leroy.
No enforcement power
The guild reported the issue to the European Commission. The commission does not have the authority to enforce the regulation but is monitoring its overall effectiveness in terms of air fare transparency.
Enforcement and sanctions come under the authority of each member state, she said.
The GEBTA represents seven national guilds with more than 300 members in Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the U.K.