Misleading travel websites could be in BIG trouble

Misleading Travel Websites

The age old saying ‘if it’s to good to be true it usually is’ has struck true once again, this time involving travel websites and your holidays.

The time has come (or gone in some cases) for booking a summer holiday, a vacation from the daily grind to enjoy some well earned stress free relaxation time. As you may be aware the cost of holidays for many has seen an increase in the past few years. The price increase of holiday packages and other travel websites offers have led the public to shop around for the best deal. As you browse for the best deals you may come across an offer that seems to good to be true, only to find out that the final cost is much higher than what was advertised. This seems to be a common occurrence from travel websites and has led the European consumer protection authorities to investigate.

Some travel websites have been misleading customers over the actual price of their bookings compared to the prices which were actually advertised, effectively enticing you with one price to only see an increase once you are on the site and ready to pay.

Legal Findings

The review found that:
• In one third of cases the first price shown was not the same as the final price to pay.
• In one fifth of cases promotional offers were not really available.
• In nearly one third of cases the way the total price was calculated was not clear.
• In one quarter of cases prompts on scarcity (e.g. "only 2 left") only applied to availability on that particular website, which wasn't made clear.

The travel websites included some comparison sites as well as others offering accommodation, transport and car rental.

These outcomes were found by the review conducted by the European consumer protection authorities. The review was carried out on 235 travel websites which were identified to have problems with misleading claims.

Potential Implications

The travel companies could be at real risk of breaching advertising standard regulations set by Advertising Standards Authority. With many people tightening the purse strings it’s vital to make sure the deal you think you’re getting is actually true, don’t rush into booking a holiday and also shop around.


“Its important that travel companies, especially in light of the above, check not only their website to ensure that they are legally compliant but also any terms and conditions that they may have. It is important that the web presence or any web marketing matches the actual product offering”. Rajinder Singh

Rajinder Singh is part of our Business Team assisting in dealing with a wide range of commercial matters including company and business acquisitions and sales, all types of contractual work, academy conversions and charity work.




Rajinder Singh, Commercial Paralegal, Taylor Bracewell Solicitors

About Taylor Bracewell

Taylor Bracewell operates from offices in Thorne Road and Ten Pound Walk in Doncaster and Fountain Precinct in Sheffield. Specialist areas are: Family Law, Business Law, Personal Law (including Wills, Probate, Trusts and Conveyancing), Dispute Resolution, HR & Employment Law, Charity Law.

You can contact us at hello@taylorbracewell.co.uk or call us on 01302 341 414 in Doncaster or 0114 272 1884 in Sheffield.

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