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Online purchase of cheap flights

Irregularities detected in seven websites selling online airline tickets

The Spanish National Consumers’ Institute has analysed 12 web pages run by airlines and travel agents selling online tickets following complaints by consumers.
On 27th September this year the 12 internet sites which had received the most complaints were investigated by the National Consumers’ Institute in a joint operation with other EU member states when web pages were scanned for fraudulent special offers.

As a result of this investigation 7 of the web pages were found to contain misleading publicity on special offers such as free flights that didn’t take into account extra charges such as airport taxes. Both Ryanair and Vueling were included in this group.

Ryanair, Iberia, Spanair and Vueling had special offers advertised on their websites which could not be found when the investigators later searched for them. Furthermore, the website belonging to eDreams was found to refer to geographical areas that did not correspond to the airports listed for departure or arrival.


The National Consumers’ Institute also found irregularities regarding the legal requirements that these sites need to fulfil. The web pages belonging to Ryanair, Transavia and Tuy-Fly were found to contain sales information in Spanish but the terms and conditions of flying were only offered in English.

No irregularities were found in the web pages belonging to Air Berlín, Atrapalo.com, Rumbo and Easyjet.