Half Of European Airline Sites Misleading

    November 13, 2007

Around 200 European airline Web sites are misleading the public, according to a study by the European Commission.

The study found airline Web sites were not displaying taxes and charges and were not advertising the most economical fares in an area that could be easily viewed along with not providing the correct cancellation information.

The report warns "Companies will be contacted by authorities and asked to provide clarification or change their practices in four months. Those who fail to do so could face legal action leading to fines or closure of their Web sites."

The European Commission did not release the names of any specific airlines but plans to in four months if any Web sites have failed to comply with its request.

Fifteen separate national airline authorities from the EU took part in the study for one weekend at the end of September. They examined 400 Web sites and discovered half were not in line with EU law.

The most common infractions included prices on home pages that did not include taxes and charges, "free" flights that were not free and forcing consumers to purchase insurance attached to an offer.

Belgian airlines performed the worst with 46 out of the 48 Web sites investigated not in compliance with EU law. Austria airlines were found to have the best Web sites with none of the 20 Web sites flagged for being misleading.