Travel companies slammed for misleading offers

24 Jun

Travel companies slammed for misleading offers

Travel agents and operators have once again come under fire for advertising holidays online which are not actually available at the advertised price.

Thomson, First Choice, Thomas Cook, Expedia, Lastminute, Lowcostholidays and Saga were among those accused of misleading consumers.

Consumer watchdog Which? Travel said its researchers looked at 142 travel deals online but could only get the holiday on the date and price first advertised in 10% of cases.

Which? is calling on the Office of Fair Trading to take action against travel companies who are breaking legal guidelines.

“Holiday companies aren’t being upfront with consumers about the real cost of a late deal and are hooking consumers with attractive offers that are often too good to be true,” said Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd.

“It is extremely disappointing that some of our most well-known travel companies are breaking the rules despite crystal clear official guidance that they must not display a price that consumers are unlikely to pay.

“The OFT must now step in and investigate whether companies are taking advantage of holidaymakers.”

Which? Travel said its researchers found nearly half of the deals were not available when they clicked through from the initial page, while other deals ceased to be valid due to pre-selected extras or unavoidable ‘holiday supplements’ added at a later stage.

OFT and Civil Aviation Authority guidelines stipulate that travel companies should:

– State all unavoidable and foreseeable charges for flights in the headline price
– Not pre-select optional extras, such as luggage fees and transfers
– Name an airline clearly from the start of the booking process
– Not display a price that is not the final price consumers are likely to pay.
Monday, June 24, 2013



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