After years of being the perpetrators of sneaky fees, expect airlines to soon begin pushing back on booking sites for doing the same thing, just so they can promote booking on their own sites.
EasyJet has called on regulators to stop a European travel website “misleading” thousands of customers into paying over the odds for tickets with the airline.
EasyJet last night claimed eDream was breaching consumer guidelines by quoting low air fares to win business, only to add on service fees and card charges later in the transaction.
Peter Duffy, the airline’s marketing chief, said the final fares quoted by eDreams were up to 60 per cent more expensive than a ticket would have been if booked directly with easyJet.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) last night said that easyJet and other airlines had also complained about the “booking practices” used by eDreams – who were unavailable for comment.
A CAA spokesman said: “We are now considering these concerns carefully as part of our ongoing work to ensure travel companies comply with consumer law.”
Edreams is part of the Odigeo Group – which also owns Opodo and Go Voyages.
EasyJet claims “screen scrapes” easyJet prices to sell its flights on their own website without authorisation. It then uses “misleading” pricing techniques in advertising the fares to “induce customers” to book flights.
EasyJet believes as many as 300,000 passengers may have booked with the site to travel with the airline between October and March this year.
Mr Duffy said: “easyJet wants to ensure all of its passengers are getting value for money.”
The airline – along with Ryanair – have both been criticised in the past by consumer watchdogs for misleading passengers with a blizzard of debit or credit charges and baggage fees. EasyJet insists it now quotes every item in the first price a customer sees on its website.
Which? exec director Richard Lloyd last night said: “Companies must comply with the ban on excessive card charges that came in after our campaign, and shouldn’t be misleading consumers by adding on charges late in the booking process.
“Trading Standards and the Office of Fair Trading should crack down on any company found to be breaching these laws.”
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