In a decision of June 6, 2013, the Paris Court of Appeal upheld a decision of the French Competition Authority fining the Géfil trade association and ten consulting firms in the leisure, culture and tourism engineering sector a total amount of EUR 660.700 for having issued instructions to use “fair prices” and to avoid “dumping” and “price wars”. These instructions were found to have been used as a benchmark for price quotations filed by consulting firms in response to calls for tenders.
According to an article published in "Travel Pulse", the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a guidance document for travel agencies that operate Internet flight-search tools on how these agencies should disclose the carriers they do not market in their search results. In particular, DOT will consider it an unfair practice to simply report that “no flight exists that matches” the consumer’s criteria, when in reality the flight does exist, but the agency does not offer it. DOT has provided a 90-day window, starting Aug.
The UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) opened a consultation on commitments proposed by Booking.com B.V. (Booking.com), Expedia Inc (Expedia) and InterContinental Hotels Group plc (IHG), designed to address its competition concerns in relation to the online offering of room only hotel accommodation bookings by Online Travel Agents (OTAs).
With decision No. 7825/2013 of June 4, 2013, the Court of Milan has held that Ryanair’s refusal to grant access to its database and booking procedures to an online travel agency was an abuse of its dominant market position. Ryanair's General Conditions for the use of its website interdicted any access for commercial purposes an thus excluded OTAs from intermediation business. The court ruled that Ryanair has to allow OTAs access to its database and booking procedures.
The defendant runs a ticket office which sells theater and concert tickets through the internet. In the course of the online booking process, the website showed the total price of the respective ticket and the information "ticket price includes booking fee and VAT". Only the General Conditions of Contract contained the information that the booking fee/commission ammounted to 25 percent of the net ticket price.
A new guidance launched by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), is aimed at airlines, price comparison websites, travel agents and tour operators, and is designed to make sure the travel industry is fully aware of its responsibilities under existing consumer legislation. The document makes clear that the travel industry must provide consumers with the information they need, when they need it and in a transparent way they can clearly understand.
A class action has been filed against the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA) alledging the MMA would deceive and defraud the public into paying a fee to enter the MMA, even though dmission was legally required to be free of charge most days of the week. A similar complaint had already been filed last November. ´The MMA states that it had never imposed an admissions fee, its admissions policy was agreed to by the City of New York and it was clearly posted and explained.
The defendant advertised holiday homes at Germany's Baltic coast in the internet where he indicated prices per week. However, only at the very end of the advertisment additional costs of a "final cleaning" were mentioned. The court (Schleswig-Holsteinsches OLG) held that the advertisment was contrary to German pricing law which requires the indication of the final price including all costs, fees and taxes.
Following a complaint from two Alitalia passengers whose flights were canceled, the Department’s Aviation Enforcement Office investigated the carrier’s refusal to pay cash compensation to the passengers. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) now fined Alitalia USD 125,000 for providing inaccurate information on its website regarding its policy on compensation to passengers on delayed and cancelled flights.
The plaintiff took part in Lufthansa's frequent flyer programme "Miles & More" and had collected about 900.000 bonus miles until Lufthansa changed the terms regarding redemption of bonus miles. According to the new terms, the number of bonus miles required to receive a business class or first class upgrade had gone up 15 to 20 percent. The plaintiff regarded these changes unfair and void and therefore filed a law suit at the regional court in Colonia (LG Köln).