EU consumer authorities found misleading marketing on travel booking websites

While it becomes more and more common to book hotels and flights online, consumers are encountering a growing number of problems with online travel services.

The European Commission and EU consumer protection authorities screened 352 price comparison and travel booking websites across the EU in 2016. The screening revealed several online comparison tools were providing misleading marketing.

The main irregularities related to the price and the way it was calculated and presented. For example, additional price elements were added at a late stage of the booking process without clearly informing the consumer or promotional prices did not correspond to any available service.

Authorities have asked the websites concerned to bring their practices in line with EU consumer legislation.

In Finland, the Consumer Ombudsman screened 9 websites. Results of the screening will be discussed in more detail later this year.

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European Commission’s Press Release on 7 April 2017 Booking your holidays online: Commission and consumer protection authorities act on misleading travel booking websites