The UK government has been working on easing travellers through the cost-of-living crisis in their recent announcement to cut down on hidden fees and “drip pricing” within the travel sector.
Though the action was requested by the Prime Minister in June of 2023, it is on the 4th of September that the government has now announced a plan of action. The change is being implemented in order to reduce the hidden fees and “drip pricing” costs that are causing issues for travellers affected by the cost-of-living crisis.
However, drip pricing and hidden fees have been persistent issues for many travellers in the past. In recent years, many moves have been proposed by the government in order to clamp down on businesses practising these hidden fees. This includes proposed changes to the Package Travel Regulations that are still being discussed.
While hidden fees can be implemented in various ways by businesses looking to advertise lower prices, drip pricing is one of the most commonly practised and easiest to spot, unfortunately, not always before charges have been made.
Drip pricing, as it is most commonly known, is a method used by businesses in order to allow them to advertise a lower cost than they intend to charge. The full cost is then revealed to the consumer later in the buying process.
For example, you open a webpage advertising a package holiday and the price displayed is £200. This is advertised as the cost for the entire package, often with vague wording. The act of “dripping” then proceeds by revealing mandatory fees such as taxes and baggage costs, adding £75. Next, you are shown add-ons such as internet access, room upgrades, or other facilities, adding £100. By the end of the buying process, your package has accumulated many hidden fees, bringing your total price to £375.
In this situation, many travellers end up paying far more than intended straight away. However, drip pricing can also affect travellers as they intend to take their trip. For example, if you have paid for a package, but arrive at the airport and discover that certain baggage costs were not included.
With this malicious form of hiding fees still affecting some travellers in the cost-of-living crisis, the government have begun the process of conducting research surrounding drip pricing and where in the process it affects travellers the most.
The Minister for Enterprise, Markets, and Small Business, Kevin Hollinrake, commented on the situation and measures planned to be taken to ensure that consumers have access to accurate information from the start. He said, “From the shelves of supermarkets to digital trolleys, modern-day shopping provides a great wealth of choice. But fake reviews and hidden fees can make those choices increasingly confusing and leave customers unsure about what product is right for them.”
So, if you’re looking forward to your next holiday free of hidden costs, don’t wait, book now with a travel business registered with PTS for 100% financial protection through trust. Or, if you’d like assistance choosing one of the lovely PTS members to book with, you can contact PTS directly at 0207 190 9988 or check us out on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
And if you’d like to learn more about your financial protection with PTS or how the Package Travel Regulations protect your holiday booking, check out our pages and Travel Advice.