Thu, Nov 18, 2004 - Page 16 News List

Travelers irritated by surcharges

DPA , HAMBURG, GERMANY

Traveling by air has become more expensive and complicated with several major airlines demanding surcharges on ticket prices, Germany's Stern magazine reports.

The German Warentest consumer organization was quoted as saying that many consumers are irritated at surcharges of between 6 percent and 6.5 percent on the actual ticket price. Depending on the airline, a so-called service charge of between 30 euros and 45 euros (US$38 to US$58) is being demanded irrespective of whether a ticket has been bought in a travel agency, on the Internet or directly from the airline.

In Germany, Lufthansa began in September issuing tickets priced before the surcharges.

Lufthansa in August introduced a fuel surcharge of 2 euros (US2.50) per ticket for short distance flights and 7 euros for long-distance flights.

Consumer organizations recommend comparing prices, especially on the internet, and to demand to know the final price from the airline and details of the surcharges.

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