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Europe consumers let down by airline industry

Published on 04/07/2008

4 July 2008

BRUSSELS / COPENHAGEN – Airlines such as Ryanair, Air Berlin and Aer Lingus are still not giving customers full information on their online ticket offers, the European Union’s executive said Thursday in the wake of a Danish consumer report.

"Europe’s consumers are being let down by the airline industry. There are serious and persistent problems with ticket sales throughout the airline industry as a whole," EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner Meglena Kuneva said in a statement.

Her comments followed a report from the Danish consumer ombudsman in which six airline websites and one ticketing website were highlighted as giving consumers either misleading price information or unfair contract terms.

"When the consumer ombudsman recently checked the information and/or procedures used, the following sites still contained incorrect information and/or made use of misleading booking procedures: Ryanair, Air Berlin, Air Baltic, SkyEurope, Aer Lingus, Brussels Airlines and Seat24," the ombudsman’s website announced.

However, five other airlines and sales websites have already changed their sites to present accurate information, while one airline has stopped flying to Denmark, the website said.

Ryanair and Air Berlin reject the claim that their websites are misleading, European Commission spokeswoman Helen Kearns said.

The Danish site warns consumers to make sure that the first price they see includes all taxes and fees, and that the site does not feature pre-ticked boxes which they have to un-tick to avoid buying extra services such as travel insurance.

[dpa / Expatica]