EU to Low-Cost Airlines: Clean Web Sites Up

Yesterday, the European Union’s Consumer Protection Commissioner Meglena Kuneva condemned “misleading advertising and unfair practices” pursued by European sites selling airline tickets. The Consumer Protection Commission investigated 446 Web sites and found that a whopping 226 did not respect EU consumer protection law, on grounds of unfair pricing, hidden charges, and/or improperly translated conditions and terms.

Consumers should be empowered to know from the get-go how low a fare actually is. The last second taxes and charges smoke-and-mirrors-effect does no one any favors; low-cost carriers may not realize it now, but this investigation will actually strengthen them in the long run, by giving consumers a more realistic sense of what they’ll actually be paying for their flights.

Best of all, the Commission’s statement has teeth. Airlines and other vendors have four months to clean things up. If sites do not manage to do so, they’ll be fined or even be forced to close.

About the author

Alex Robertson Textor
About the author: Bitten by the travel bug at 11, Alex Robertson Textor has fond childhood memories of ultracheap Spanish hotels (the kind with Styrofoam shelving) and supermarket lunches scarfed on park benches. Formerly an academic, Alex has spent the last several years redirecting his professional life into full-time travel journalism and editing. He has published articles in the New York Times, Guardian Unlimited, Condé Nast Traveler, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian, among other publications.
Posted in: Budget Air Travel
Related tags:

Cheapo Comments

One Response to “EU to Low-Cost Airlines: Clean Web Sites Up”

Leave a Comment