Airlines misleading web customers

November 13, 2007

According to the European Commission, at least 200 European airline websites are misleading customers. The main problems seem to stem from airlines which fail to show transparent prices, often taxes, supplements and charges aren’t obvious to the consumer. Another issue they’ve highlighted is the practice of not making the best prices available obvious or easy to find. The practice of advertising flights as free is also highlighted as a problem, often the prices aren’t free due to the taxes etc.

The EC says it could force websites to shut down next year if they don’t improve.

Now I work for an online travel company, we always display any lead-in prices including all taxes, supplements and also discounts. This I understood is obligatory in this country. I’m really surprised to hear this about some airlines, although I’m not surprised about the ‘free’ flights issue.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out. If it makes the playing field level for all airlines who advertise lead-in prices and results in more transparent pricing for consumers then that is a good thing as far as I’m concerned!

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