Online travel bureaus have been denounced by the European Consumer Centre on Friday for providing problematic services to their European customers.
The European Commission and 30 other national authorities, such as the Economic Inspectorate in Belgium, have been alerted to practices like the non-reimbursement of cancelled tickets or within too long a period, hidden charges at the time of reservation, and the non-reimbursement of these hidden charges when tickets were cancelled.
Other issues include a lack of assistance to consumers when the platforms have to intervene on their behalf with airlines, and a difference in solutions proposed by the website and by the airline in case of cancelled tickets.
“Disputes with online booking sites have been around for a long time but in this year, troubled by the Covid-19 pandemic, the problems have increased,” the ECC stated. The relevant authorities will now review the case and decide if further action needs to be taken.
The European Consumer Centre was founded in 2005 to protect the consumer rights of EU citizens and solve cross-border consumer problems.