Ryanair Boeing 737 8 AS

Dutch Consumer Authority fines Ryanair

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Hague -- The Dutch Consumer Authority has put a fine of a total of 370,000 euros on Ryanair for violations in the online booking process. Ryanair is required to list all foreseeable and inevitable costs such as fees and surcharges in air ticket sales, but is failing to so do.

Ryanair's booking process not clear enough

Bernadette van Buchem, spokesperson for the Consumer Authority: "It needs to be clear from the start precisely what consumers will have to pay for a particular flight when they book a ticket." Ryanair has already made some changes to their booking process, which was long overdue since customers previously didn't know what the total price of their ticket would be until the moment of payment. In many cases, this led to a dramatic gap between the price that a ticket was initially presented for on the website and the actual price that had to be paid in the end. Although Ryanair has now ended up receiving a fine, this turns out to be standard practice for many travel companies, according to the Consumer Authority.

Investigation Consumer Authority

The Consumer Authority already published a research on the aviation industry last December. One area that was assessed then is whether travel companies presented their rates clearly and correctly online. The conclusion was that trips bought online often ended up costing much more than consumers initially thought they did. The authority assessed a total of sixty online travel companies and determined that none of these companies presented the prices on their websites completely accurately.

Fine for Ryanair

Since the research was published, the Dutch Consumer Authority has imposed fines on several travel organisations. Ryanair will be required to pay a fine of 370,000 euros for violating consumer rules that state that additional expenses that are inevitable for the buyer must be included in the prices initially presented to the customer. This does not include additional optional services.

Ryanair has made a second amendment to their services besides listing foreseeable and inevitable fees and surcharges in their website pricing. The airline's website now also notifies customers of the fact that the company only has an English customer service. This was one of the demands the Consumer Authority made.

Written by: Team Flight Delayed