UK: Civil Aviation Authority and Office of Fair Trading warn travel industry not to mislead consumers

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. The guidance also sets out how the enforcement process works if regulations are breached such that further action may be necessary.Key points of the guidance include reminders to the travel industry that: All unavoidable and foreseeable charges for flights must be included in the headline price – this includes taxes, fees and any other mandatory charges such as a booking fee. Information on optional extras such as baggage and seat selection charges must be clearly available from the first stage of the booking process. Consumers must be free to choose these optional extras – they cannot be pre-selected. The name of the airline travellers will be flying with must be displayed from the start of the booking process. Information on the financial protection arrangements for the booking and other key information must be made clear to consumers. Terms and conditions relating to a booking must be clearly available and easy to understand.Source: OFT press release 28/13 of March 26, 2013

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