If you’ve ever booked an airfare you know how frustrating it can be to get all the way to the end of your transaction only to be hit with additional fees.
One Federal Court judge agrees, and he’s told lawyers for two of Australia’s major airlines that those hidden booking fees charged to customers are “very annoying”.
Jetstar and Virgin found themselves in court after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) alleged the companies engaged in false and deceptive conduct, and made false and misleading representations about the cost of booking airfares online.
The practice they were accused of is known as ‘drip pricing’, and is where you don’t know the true cost of your booking until you reach the final stages of your transaction.
The ACCC says it could result in you paying more than the advertised price, which means you are spending more than you realise, and in turn it becomes more difficult for you to compare offers.
Justice Lindsay Foster told the court he had struggled to work the fees out himself.
“It was very frustrating,” he says.
Jetstar was fined $550,000 while Virgin got a $200,000 fine for engaging in drip pricing on their mobile sites, which saw some customers unable to redeem advertised ticket prices.
— Nick Dole (@NicholasDole) April 20, 2016