Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Black sheapes of the online travel industry?

According to an article in BusinessWeek, European Union and Danish officials named seven online travel operators and airlines Thursday in an ongoing crackdown against misleading ads and price schemes.
Online travel sites run in Denmark by Ryanair, Air Berlin, Air Baltic, SkyEurope, Aer Lingus, Brussels Airlines and Seat24 were singled out for violating European consumer law.

Consumers are being "led down by the airline industry," despite the EU investigation into online sales practices launched in September, EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner Meglena Kuneva said.

"There are serious and persistent problems with ticket sales throughout the airline industry as a whole. It is completely unacceptable," Kuneva said in a statement.

The seven operators, some already criticized for Web sites run in other European nations, were accused by Denmark's consumer ombudsman of misleading consumers on booking procedures, notably on prices and terms under which flight tickets can be used.

Henrik Oee said his investigation involved 13 foreign companies that run online travel services in Denmark, five of which have already moved to change their practices.

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