Co-ordinated enforcement action leads to safer travel websites

4/15/2014

In a concerted action by national consumer authorities co-ordinated by the European Commission an astonishing 382 out of 552 websites checked in 2013 did not respect European consumer law.

Concerted screenings (also known as "sweeps") of websites are regularly coordinated by the European Commission and carried out by national enforcement authorities, to identify breaches of consumer law and to subsequently ensure its enforcement. In summer 2013, national authorities checked websites selling air travel and hotel accommodation, including websites of both traders and intermediaries. A total 552 websites were checked.

The main problems found were:

  • A lack of mandatory information on the trader's identity, in particular their email address, depriving consumers from an effective contact channel. 162 websites (30%) did not contain this information.

  • A lack of clear instructions on how to complain. 157 websites (28%) did not provide this information.

  • Optional price supplements, such as baggage fee, insurance fee, priority boarding, are not on an “opt-in” basis. This problem occurred with 133 websites (24%).

    The total price of the service is not indicated up-front when the main elements of the booking are first displayed. 112 websites (20%) failed to give this information.

As a result of vigorous enforcement action, 62% of the websites checked are now treating consumers as they should.

Read the press release via the link to the right on this page.