Friday, November 16, 2007

Euro Travel Websites

According to David Rowell, The Travel Insider (who produces an excellent newsletter), more than 200 European travel websites may be shut down unless they stop deceptive sales practices, said the European Union's consumer chief. Questionable tactics included:
* The price of the ticket is first indicated without airport taxes and additional fees.
* Offers promising tickets for free or at a low price, but such tickets are unavailable when the consumer wants to buy them.
* Tick (check) boxes for insurance or additional services are ticked "yes" by default, trapping the consumer into buying unwanted items or being included on spam mailing lists.
* General terms of sales are not provided in the language version used by the consumer during the booking procedure, or not available at all in any language.
* No information is given about the rights and procedures of cancellation, transferability and ability to change dates.
We've used European travel websites with success in the past (we lately had good luck with TrailFinders in the UK for a trip to Africa -- their travel insurance was especially well-priced), and have suggested that you explore those possibilities. This news should make any of us exercise caution in our web purchases, from the websites of any country.