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USA: DOT issues guidance on aviation consumer information-related requirements

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued on April 19 a notice to provide guidance to airlines and U.S. travel agents regarding compliance with the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. One of the issues addressed in the guidance letter is the requirement that, effective April 14, airlines and travel agents disclose to consumers countries that require the use of insecticides by airlines.

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USA: DOT fines ticket agent and Qantas for advertising violations

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined ticket agent Unister USA, also known as, USD 30,000 for violating the Department’s rules on fare advertising and disclosure of code-share flights.

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European Union: Parliamentary Transport and Tourism Committee calls for improved air passenger rights

All-in air fares, airline employees able to help stranded passengers immediately, and proper compensation when airlines go bust are the key requests set out in a resolution on air passengers' rights voted by the Transport and Tourism Committee on Tuesday.

With a view to a forthcoming revision of the relevant EU legislation, the resolution calls on the European Commission to clarify air passengers' rights, ensure that legislation protecting them is applied uniformly, and take measures to improve the accountability of airlines.

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USA: District Court upholds fine for traveler to Cuba who did not answer OFAC queries

Plaintiff Zachary Sanders filed a suit to review final agency action by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). He claimed violations of his constitutional rights under the Fifth and Eighth Amendments (in particular: the right not to incriminate himself and the right not to fined in an excessive way) arising from a USD 9.000 fine OFAC imposed on him for failure to comply with Cuban trade embargo regulations.

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USA: proposed bill to require travel websites to list health risks of travel destinations

A proposed Senate bill would require online travel-service providers to provide detailed information about the health and safety services provided at each advertised destination. The bill would also require website operators to display pertinent Department of State travel warnings on each destination.

The bill would require website operators to request that on-site information if it is not readily available, and if no information is provided, they would have to say specifically.

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UK: TripAdvisor under ASA scrutiny

Following a huge number of complaints by hotels that the travel website did not check its reviews and many of them were  misleading, fake or defamatory, TripAdvisor is to be investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

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Austria: first reference for ECJ preliminary ruling regarding rail passenger rights

The Austrian "Schienen-Control Kommission Wien" has filed a reference for preliminary ruling of the ECJ with regard to the following questions:

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USA: DHS not obliged to disclose air traveler security images

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) sued the federal government over the body scanner images taken at security checkpoints in airports. The center wanted the government to release images which were created to give officials at the Transportation Security Administration an idea of the effectiveness of its detection technology. The center thus wanted to determine how the technology would impact privacy and civil liberty concerns.

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USA: DOT sets deadline for proper online disclosure of codeshared flights

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Aviation Enforcement Office provided guidance to airlines and ticket agents about the requirement for notifying passengers if a flight they are selling is being operated under a code-sharing arrangement.

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USA: some websites fail to identify operating carrier

Some U.S. travel Web sites were found to have violated federal law by not identifying which airline is operating a flight for which they're selling tickets. The new law says that information must be displayed "in a format that is easily visible to a viewer". But seven of the 10 travel websites that Buffalo News surveyed did not make it immediately clear to consumers that a regional airline was handling flights for the major carriers.

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