European Online Travel Agents Accused of Non-Transparency

Travel agent web sites in Britain were accused last week of advertising special holiday discounted travel that did not include hidden charges, the Times Online reported. The Trading Standards Institute accused budget holiday companies and were backed up by the Association of British Travel Agents, which said that some companies had refused to follow the association's practice of displaying inclusive pricing. A survey by the Times Online revealed that Britain's biggest tour operators, including Thomas Cook, MyTravel and First Choice, avoided displaying total pricing. Hidden fees can bump up the price of a vacation package sometimes inordinately. The Trading Standards Institute wants the Office of Fair Trading to use existing legislation to crack down on misleading pricing.

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