On 12 March 2013, the European Parliament voted to support the new legislation on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Online Dispute Resolution. The vote confirms the political agreement reached in December 2012 on the two legislative proposals put forward by the European Commission in 2011. The new legislation will now soon be adopted.
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.
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.
TripAdvisor.com provides information on various hotels, resorts and restaurants worldwide. Visitors to TripAdvisor's website can review these businesses by responding to surveys or post comments about their personal experiences. Based on these reviews, TripAdvisor compiles and publishes rankings, categorizing the businesses listed. In 2011 a ranking of "dirtiest hotels" identified the Grand Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, as the "dirtiest hotel in America".
A German consumer-protection association has taken proceedings against ebookers.com before the German courts with a view to requiring that company to refrain from automatically including cancellation insurance with the air fare:
According to an article by Margaret Tofalides from Manches LLP, published on lexology.com, British Airways is planning to use information from the internet to create dossiers on passengers. The programme would search Google images in order to find pictures of passengers so that they can be identified by the BA staff. It would would also search data held by BA, including records of previous flights and complaints. The programme, of course, raises data protection and privacy concerns.
The plaintiff, a painter, had made a sales exhibition of her paintings in the premises of the defendant hotel company. After the exhibition, the paintings (none of which had been sold) remained in the hotel for some time for a monthly fee to be paid by the defendant. During the exhibition, pictures of the hotel were taken which the defendant then used on its website. On one of these pictures, the plaintiff's painting "Mozart Symponie No 41" could be seen hanging on a wall in the background.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined ticket agent Unister USA, also known as Flights24.com, USD 30,000 for violating the Department’s rules on fare advertising and disclosure of code-share flights.