Canada mandates all-inclusive fare advertising

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Canada has amended its air transport regulations to advertisers to reflect all taxes, fees and charges in the total price of airline fares.

The regulations apply to advertising for domestic flights in Canada or originating within the country. Repeat offenders of the rule can face up to Canadian dollars C$25,000 ($25,373) in fines, the government says.

The government says it enacted the rule to increase transparency in the pricing process and to give consumers more clarity on the total price of flights. It also seeks to provide a level playing field for advertisers.

"We are protecting Canadian air travellers by helping them see, clearly and up front, the full cost of air tickets, so they can make informed travel choices," says Denis Lebel, Canada's minister of transport. "In addition to benefitting consumers by ensuring transparent advertising, these regulations will promote fair competition between all advertisers."

In December 2011, Canada's government announced that the Canadian Transport Agency would start developing regulations for advertising all-inclusive airfares. The agency posted its proposed regulations on 30 June, and a 75-day comment period ended on 13 September, 2012. The new mandate will be published in part II of the Canada Gazette, which lists final regulations.

The United States has implemented its own rules for requiring airlines to include taxes and fees in their advertised fares as part of a larger body of passenger protection laws, which went into effect in January.