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USA: DOT issues new passenger rights regulation

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a final rule to improve the air travel environment for consumers by:

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ECJ: Advocate General gives opinion on advertising entry-level prices for travel and tourist services

Swedish travel company "Ving Sverige" had advertised New York trips in newspaper ads, indicating an entry level price only. In his opinion of Feb. 3, 2011, Advocate General Paolo Mengozzi held that indication of an entry-level price would only fulfil the information requirements of Art. 7 of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (2005/29/EC) if indication of the actual price was

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USA: court ruling entitles American Airlines to pull its fares from Orbitz

In Travelport, LP v. American Airlines, Inc., the Circuit Court of Cook County,Chicago ruled in American Airlines’ favor, denying Travelport’s request for a preliminary injunction against AA and its efforts to pull its fares from Orbitz, an online travel agency of which Travelport is a part owner.

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USA/Brazil: open skies agreement

Representatives of the United States and Brazil have agreed to implement an Open-Skies aviation regime, which will significantly liberalize U.S.-Brazil air services for airlines of both countries over a transition period by removing restrictions on pricing and on the routes between each country that can be served by U.S. and Brazilian scheduled and charter airlines.  The agreement also provides immediately for full codeshare rights and additional charter flexibility.

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Germany: extention of previously announced early booking discount period not misleading

Defendant, a tour organizer organizing packages for children announced on his website an early booking discount of EUR 25 for a particular package if booking was made until March 31, 2009 latest. He then extended this period to April 17 and on Arpil 21 announced that the discount will be granted for every booking until April 30. However, even after the latter date defendant went on granting the discount. A costumer was told that this was because of favourable acquisition prices which were unexpectedly still available and which defendant wanted to pass on.

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UK: Office of Fair Trading to investigate hotel prices

After months of lobbying from a discount website, the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has started an investigation on whether some hotels have put pressure on third parties to raise their rates. Hotel rooms are often sold through websites at rates far lower than those offered by travel agents or the hotels themselves, because these websites operate on lower profit margins.

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Sweden: reference for ECJ preliminary ruling with regard to advertising entry-level prices for travel and tourist services

Ving Sverige AB, a Swedish travel company advertised New York trips in newspaper ads, indicating an entry level price only. The Swedish consumer ombudsman (Konsumentombudsmannen) sued for unfair competition as he regarded it necessary to indicate a specific price whereas advertising an enty-level price only was misleading.

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USA: Association for Airline Passenger Rights Supports “Baggage Transparency and Accountability Act”

The Association for Airline Passenger Rights (AAPR) applauded Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia for introducing the “Baggage Transparency and Accountability Act of 2010” (S.3691), and announced its strong support for his legislation. The legislation would end potentially “unfair or deceptive practices” by commercial airlines by requiring them to provide clear pricing information to consumers.