Around 80 companies selling plane tickets by internet have been warned to clean up their business practices or face legal action. Brussels gave the industry a one-year deadline to improve the sales and marketing methods in question.
Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva presented investigation findings: “One in three websites have been found to have a serious breach of EU consumer law and have had to be followed up with enforcement action over the last seven months.” Failure to rejig their systems could see companies forced to close their websites or pay heavy fines. Commission figures show that online booking is critical for the EU airline travel industry, catering to more than 700 million passengers per year. Kuneva’s report showed that, of the 79 companies found to be in the wrong, 44 were airlines, 27 were travel agencies and 8 were price comparison services. The probe found websites with unfair pricing, hidden charges and improperly-translated terms and conditions. For legal reasons, only Sweden and non-EU Norway gave the names of offending airlines. Both of them singled out Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, Ryanair.
Dodgy Internet plane ticket sellers warned