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Fine on Ryanair for unclear prices

On February 26, 2013, the Netherlands Consumer Authority issued a decision against Irish airline Ryanair.

On its website www.ryanair.com/nl, Ryanair offers airline tickets to Dutch consumers. The Consumer Authority has examined the booking process on Ryanair’s website. The way in which flights and related services are offered has been tested against Article 23 of the European aviation regulation and against the laws on unfair commercial practices. In addition, the Consumer Authority assessed whether Ryanair complied with the information obligations that apply to information society services (such as offering goods and services over the Internet).

The Consumer Authority has come to the conclusion that Ryanair has violated said regulations. On its website, Ryanair failed to include consistently all foreseeable and unavoidable costs in the advertised prices of airline tickets. In addition, Ryanair offered its customer service only in English without making this clear on the Dutch website. The online booking process did not offer consumers the option to review the information they entered and to correct any mistakes before finalizing the booking. Finally, Ryanair failed to publish an email address on its website, which made it difficult to communicate directly with the company.

The Consumer Authority has therefore imposed fines on Ryanair, totaling EUR 370,000. Furthermore, it also imposes on Ryanair three orders subject to periodic penalty payments for violations that, according to the Consumer Authority, have not been ended yet.

Ryanair has filed an objection against this decision.