Online shopping

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USA: DOT fines companies for violating Consumer Protection and Price Advertising Rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined online travel agent Travelocity $180,000 for violating the Department’s rule on full-fare advertising by failing to include fuel surcharges and other fees in advertised airfares and ordered it to cease and desist from further violations.

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CJEU: inclusion of flight cancellation insurance as a default setting unlawful when selling air tickets over the internet

A German consumer-protection association has taken proceedings against ebookers.com before the German courts with a view to requiring that company to refrain from automatically including cancellation insurance with the air fare:

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USA: Appelate court confirms limitation of liability clauses in airline's "Conditions of Carriage"

On September 26, 2008, appellants purchased two round-trip airline tickets from American Airline’s website. The y received an “E-Ticket Confirmation” which in the bottom line of the message stated: “A summary of Terms and Conditions of travel is available by selecting the Conditions of Carriage button below.” The referenced Conditions of Carriage clearly state that the ticket and the Conditions of Carriage “constitute the contract.”

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Germany: appellate court upholds denial of injunction against hotel review website

The plaintiff is operating a hotel in Berlin. The defendant is running a website provding for online booking of accomodation and travel packages. The website also has a section where users can post unattributed comments and reviews on hotels. These reviews included some negative comments on the plaintiff's hotel.

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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.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

USA: DOT fines Orbitz for violating price advertising rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on Oct. 17, 2011 fined the online ticket agent Orbitz USD 60,000 for violating federal aviation laws and the Department’s rules prohibiting deceptive price advertising in air travel. For a period of time in early 2011, Orbitz’s homepage displayed advertisements that did not provide any information on additional taxes and fees.

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European Commission publishes results of the Online ticket Sales Sweep

Results of the 2010 sweep websites selling tickets to cultural and sporting events are positive, the Commission announced on 29 Sept. 2011: 88% of the websites checked for breach of EU consumer rules are now in line compared to only 40% in 2010.

This sector was chosen after European Consumer Centres received numerous complaints.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

USA: DOT to require airlines to make their websites and kiosks accessible to disabled travelers

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed a regulation that would require airlines to make their websites accessible to individuals with disabilities and ensure that their ticket agents do the same.  DOT also proposed that airlines make automated airport kiosks at U.S. airports accessible to passengers with disabilities. U.S.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

USA: DOT fines JetBlue for deceptive pricing

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined JetBlue Airways USD 50,000 for violating federal aviation laws and the Department’s rules prohibiting deceptive price advertising in air travel.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

German court regards 'automatic' inclusion of cancellation insurance to flight ticket price illegal

German Oberlandesgericht Jena recently held that it was an illegal trade practice to autmaticly include a cancellation insurance to the ticket price during the online booking process. Such practice would deceive the average consumer even if he had the option to avoid the inclusion of the insurance by unclicking the related tickbox. The deceptive practice would also violate EU Regulation 1008/2008 on on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community.

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