Page last updated at 15:39 GMT, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 16:39 UK

Ryanair price error 'to be fixed'

Ryanair plane
Ryanair said the fault was the result of high use of its website

Budget airline Ryanair has said it will fix a fault on its website that means it is breaking rules on price clarity.

At the moment, its website is breaking rules set by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) by showing prices which do not include taxes and charges.

Last year, the OFT said all UK airlines should include "fixed non-optional" costs within their headline fares.

Ryanair complied, but a key page on its site has failed to show all the charges since the end of June.

It is trying to fix the problem which it says is due to high use of the site.

Website fault

On Ryanair's homepage, a customer wishing to make a booking selects the desired destination and the date they wish to travel.

This is a non-issue, there are no hidden costs here, this is just a systems error
Stephen McNamara, Ryanair

After clicking, a list of available flights appears on the next page, along with the price of each option. Those prices exclude taxes and charges.

Only on the next page are the taxes and charges added. Ryanair makes passengers aware of the problem.

A statement in bold red type reads: "We regret, due to system performance issues, we have been unable to display the tax inclusive fare box on this page, since 25/06/2008. We are currently working with our suppliers, including Navitaire to resolve these problems and hope to restore the tax, fees and charges inclusive display shortly".

New rules

This is against the OFT ruling from last year, and EU legislation due to come into effect at the end of 2008.

"We did have a number of system performance issues which we are in the process of working with our software partners to rectify," Stephen McNamara, a spokesman for Ryanair told the BBC.

"But this is clearly highlighted on that page, and it is only one page within the booking process. This is a non-issue, there are no hidden costs here, this is just a systems error."

Ryanair says it hopes to fix the glitch within the next couple of weeks.

A spokesman for the OFT said: "We are aware of the issues on the Ryanair website and we are currently addressing the matter with Ryanair."

In February this year, Ryanair shut its website down completely for several days, it said, to allow it to handle ever-increasing booking volumes.

The website became compliant with the OFT's price transparency rulings - three weeks after the watchdog's deadline.

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