Extracts of the press conference by Meglena Kuneva on EU crackdown on misleading airline ticket websites
At a press conference on 14 November 2007 in Brussels, Meglena Kuneva, Member of the EC in charge of Consumer Protection, announced the results of an EU wide investigation - involving 15 EU national authorities as well as Norway – against misleading advertising and unfair practices on airline ticket selling websites.
The clampdown covers Europe's leading airlines, low cost carriers as well as other websites selling airline tickets. The results of the inquiry show that over 50% of all websites showed irregularities, in particular relating to price indications, contract terms and clarity of proposed conditions. In the week of 24-28 September, in the first ever EU joint enforcement action on consumer rights (co-ordinated by the European Commission), national enforcement authorities in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and also Norway scrutinised over 400 web sites to check their compliance with EU consumer law. This sweep check is followed by an enforcement phase when companies are contacted by authorities and asked to correct websites or clarify their position.
Meglena Kuneva warned that she is giving companies four months to respond. As well as facing possible legal action, she will not hesitate to name and shame companies who fail to take action to bring sites in line with EU law once that deadline expires. SHOTLIST