Travel websites under investigation for misleading buyers


The Australian consumer watchdog has promised to crack down on travel websites misleading consumers by hiding fees and charges when they quote a price.

Called “drip pricing”,  the practice of advertising a cheap deal but hiding booking fees and other charges until the final stage of purchase is believed to be prevalent in a number of industries.

Recent years have seen many sites spring up which sell cruise products direct to the public.   The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is in the early stages of investigating, so could not say yet whether cruise would form part of the probe.

Chairman Rod Simms said the practice is impacting Australian consumers and competition.

He said Australians should be made aware of any extra costs before they start booking.

“When you’re selling a good you have to let the complete price known rather than bring it out in components,” he told the ABC.

“We believe there are companies out there breaching the law and we’ll be taking action, but we’ll also be commenting on where companies are pushing the limits in grey areas.”