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USA: DOT fines ticket agent and Qantas for advertising violations

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.

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ECJ Advocate General: air ticket pricing rules regarding ‘optional price supplements’ also apply to a cancellation insurance

Article 23(1) of Regulation No 1008/2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community provides that with rergard to air fares or air rates, optional price supplements shall be communicated in a clear, transparent and unambiguous way at the start of any booking process and their acceptance by the customer shall be on an “opt-in

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European Union: Parliamentary Transport and Tourism Committee calls for improved air passenger rights

All-in air fares, airline employees able to help stranded passengers immediately, and proper compensation when airlines go bust are the key requests set out in a resolution on air passengers' rights voted by the Transport and Tourism Committee on Tuesday.

With a view to a forthcoming revision of the relevant EU legislation, the resolution calls on the European Commission to clarify air passengers' rights, ensure that legislation protecting them is applied uniformly, and take measures to improve the accountability of airlines.

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"Reviews you can trust" - UK Advertising Standards Authority finds TripAdvisor ads misleading

Claims on tripadvisor.co.uk, a website providing holiday and travel consumer reviews, stated "... read reviews from real travellers ... TripAdvisor is the world's largest travel site, enabling travellers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travellers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features ... TripAdvisor.com features: More than 50 million honest travel reviews and opinions from real travellers around the world".

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USA: Appelate court confirms limitation of liability clauses in airline's "Conditions of Carriage"

On September 26, 2008, appellants purchased two round-trip airline tickets from American Airline’s website. The y received an “E-Ticket Confirmation” which in the bottom line of the message stated: “A summary of Terms and Conditions of travel is available by selecting the Conditions of Carriage button below.” The referenced Conditions of Carriage clearly state that the ticket and the Conditions of Carriage “constitute the contract.”

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Germany: appellate court upholds denial of injunction against hotel review website

The plaintiff is operating a hotel in Berlin. The defendant is running a website provding for online booking of accomodation and travel packages. The website also has a section where users can post unattributed comments and reviews on hotels. These reviews included some negative comments on the plaintiff's hotel.

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USA: proposed bill to require travel websites to list health risks of travel destinations

A proposed Senate bill would require online travel-service providers to provide detailed information about the health and safety services provided at each advertised destination. The bill would also require website operators to display pertinent Department of State travel warnings on each destination.

The bill would require website operators to request that on-site information if it is not readily available, and if no information is provided, they would have to say specifically.

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USA: DOT fines Orbitz for violating price advertising rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on Oct. 17, 2011 fined the online ticket agent Orbitz USD 60,000 for violating federal aviation laws and the Department’s rules prohibiting deceptive price advertising in air travel. For a period of time in early 2011, Orbitz’s homepage displayed advertisements that did not provide any information on additional taxes and fees.

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European Commission publishes results of the Online ticket Sales Sweep

Results of the 2010 sweep websites selling tickets to cultural and sporting events are positive, the Commission announced on 29 Sept. 2011: 88% of the websites checked for breach of EU consumer rules are now in line compared to only 40% in 2010.

This sector was chosen after European Consumer Centres received numerous complaints.

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USA: DOT fines Virgin Atlantic for deceptive online advertising

The U.S. Department of Transportation has fined Virgin Atlantic USD 50,000 for deceptive online advertising. The DOT said that Virgin Atlantic displayed air fares, but without government taxes and fees. To see taxes and fees, consumers had to scroll down to the bottom of the page to read the fine print.

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