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Canada: new Air Price Advertising Rules

In December 2011, the Government of Canada announced that the Canadian Transportation Agency would develop regulations requiring all-inclusive air price advertising. These regulations are now published on Part II of the Canada Gazette.

The regulations support two key objectives:

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USA: DOT collected USD 3.6 M in fines for air passenger rule violations in 2012

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) said it levied USD 3.6 million in penalties for 2012 violations of the department’s consumer-protection rules for air passengers. The total is up from USD 3.3 million in 2011. During 2012, the Department issued 49 consent orders for consumer rule violations, the most recent two against Copa Airlines and Virgin America for not strictly adhering to the DOT’s rules for lengthy tarmac delays.

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USA: Federal Trade Commission requires hotels to disclose all mandatory surcharges

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned 22 hotel operators that their online reservation sites may violate the law by providing a deceptively low estimate of what consumers can expect to pay for their hotel rooms. According to the FTC letters, one common complaint consumers raised involved mandatory fees hotels charge for amenities such as newspapers, use of onsite exercise or pool facilities, or internet access, sometimes referred to as ‘resort fees'.

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USA: DOT fines Travelzoo for violation of Code-Share Disclosure Rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has assessed a USD 50,000 penalty against the online ticket agent Travelzoo for failing to properly disclose to consumers when flights were being operated under a code-sharing arrangement, and ordered the company to cease and desist from future violations.

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ECJ: Rail passengers must be given information on main connecting services, whichever railway undertaking operates them

The (privately owned) railway undertaking Westbahn Management GmbH operates passenger rail transport services on the Vienna-Salzburg line in Austria. State owned ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG is the railway infrastructure manager in Austria and manages the major part of the Austrian rail network, including the Vienna-Salzburg line. It has at its disposal real-time data on the positions of all trains operating on the Austrian rail network it manages. The data is communicated to the various railway undertakings where it concerns those undertakings’ trains.

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Travel Agent Arbiter in US Digitizes all substantive decisions

The US Travel Agent Arbiter has completed his project to Digitize all substantive decisions with key words such as “reasonable care” or “fiduciary duties”.  They are available from the TAAP Hqs  at 9401 Battle St, Manassas, Va USA   20110  or by phone  703-530-9002.

Reported to IFTTA by Al Anolik

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UK: airlines to include debit card surcharges in headline prices

Following enforcement action of the U.K. Office of Fair Trading (OFT), 12 airlines have agreed to include debit card surcharges in the headline price rather than surprise consumers at the end of the booking process. Any surcharges for paying by credit card will be easy to find when booking online. Aer Lingus, BMI Baby, Eastern Airways, easyJet, Flybe, German Wings, Jet2, Lufthansa, Ryanair, Thomas Cook, Thomson (TUI) and Wizz Air were subject to an OFT consumer law investigation and have agreed to change their practices.

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USA: Airlines lose appeal against DOT fare rules

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington has upheld the Transportation Department’s full-fare advertising and fare refund rules that had been challenged by Allegiant, Spirit and Southwest. The rules that require airlines and travel sellers to quote full prices with all taxes and mandatory fees includedwent into effect last year. The airlines had challenged that provision on the grounds that there is nothing “inherently” deceptive about showing taxes separately, as is commonly done in most other industries.

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EU Commission publishes consumer tips for visitors to the 2012 Olympic Games

The European Commission has put together a webpage with key consumer tips on how to plan a successful, stress-free trip to the Olympics – and avoid consumer hassle with travel, accommodation or shopping. This page offers essential, hands-on information and links to services that can help visitors in case of a problem.

Find the webpage here>>.

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ECJ Advocate General delivers opinion on rail passenger rights

In his opinion delivered on June 7, 2012, ECJ Advocate General Jääskinen came to the conclusion that

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