The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned 22 hotel operators that their online reservation sites may violate the law by providing a deceptively low estimate of what consumers can expect to pay for their hotel rooms. According to the FTC letters, one common complaint consumers raised involved mandatory fees hotels charge for amenities such as newspapers, use of onsite exercise or pool facilities, or internet access, sometimes referred to as ‘resort fees'.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has assessed a USD 50,000 penalty against the online ticket agent Travelzoo for failing to properly disclose to consumers when flights were being operated under a code-sharing arrangement, and ordered the company to cease and desist from future violations.
On March 6, 2012, the Quebec Superior Court authorized a class action against Groupe Aeroplan Inc. relating to its decision to implement expiry dates on its loyalty program points (“Miles”). Under the new Aeroplan Terms and Conditions, if there is no activity in a member's Aeroplan account within a 12-month period, the Miles will expire. Accumulated Miles will also expire if they are not used within seven years of acquisition.
The Transportation Department has issued a guidance letter to tour operators and others in the public charter industry, imposing new requirements in the wake of the March collapse of Direct Air. According to the DOT, the company:
The Montreal Convention provides that an air carrier must pay compensation to each passenger, limited to 1 000 Special Drawing Rights (‘SDRs’) per passenger, in the event of the loss of his baggage during a flight operated by the carrier or while the baggage was in the carrier’s charge. The carrier must provide passengers with an identification tag for each piece of checked baggage.
The (privately owned) railway undertaking Westbahn Management GmbH operates passenger rail transport services on the Vienna-Salzburg line in Austria. State owned ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG is the railway infrastructure manager in Austria and manages the major part of the Austrian rail network, including the Vienna-Salzburg line. It has at its disposal real-time data on the positions of all trains operating on the Austrian rail network it manages. The data is communicated to the various railway undertakings where it concerns those undertakings’ trains.
The "EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation" (Reg, [EC] 261/2004) affords air passengers a right to compensation according to the distance and destination of their cancelled flight, unless the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances. However, it does not specify any time-limit for bringing actions for compensation.
The plaintiff, an Irish low cost carrier, exclusively sells tickets through its own website or its call center in order to keep the fares low and avoid customers being charged with any service fees by third parties. To book a flight on the website it is required to accept the carrier's General Condtions of Contract. These General Condtions of Contract explicitly exclude travel agents or other professional sellers from booking.
In the two cases decided by the German Supreme Court (BGH) recently, the plaintiffs each had booked long haul flights with non Commnunity carriers. In both cases the transportation consisted of two segments, a feeder flight departing from the EU to a non EU hub and a connecting flight departing from this hub outside the EU to the final destination. In both cases the connecting flights were delayed more than 8 hrs and the plaintiffs sued for compensation pursuant to Reg. (EC) 261/2004.