Two-thirds of EU travel websites mislead on prices: Commission

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Two-thirds of travel booking websites provide misleading information on prices and so breached EU consumer protection rules, the European Commission said on Friday.

In its survey of 352 online travel booking and comparison services, it found a third of the websites displayed initial prices which were not the final prices and in a fifth of the cases promotional offers were not really available, the Commission said.

About one in four websites also misled consumers by saying there were only a limited amount of seats or rooms left at a certain price, when this often only applied to the website in question.

The Commission did not name any of the companies surveyed in its screening of websites across the bloc in October 2016.

The EU executive said national authorities would contact the websites that were in breach of EU consumer protection rules and could take legal action if the companies failed to improve.

The Commission has coordinated similar “sweep” actions in the past, such as into airlines, online tickets and consumer credit, to ensure consumers are being protected.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop