Leading OTAs eDreams and Opodo have been forced to make “significant changes” to their websites and pricing practices to ensure they are more transparent for consumers.
The action follows a probe launched by the Civil Aviation Authority last December after the eDreams ODIGEO group companies failed to address numerous concerns raised by the regulator.
The 11-month investigation has enabled the CAA to secure undertakings from eDreams and Opodo and their websites have now been changed to ensure prices are displayed transparently.
The investigation included evidence and information from a range of stakeholders, which including consumer groups.
This, along with the regulator’s own analysis, led to concerns about the way information and prices were presented to consumers. The CAA then worked with the businesses to address the issues.
CAA consumers and markets group director Richard Moriarty said: “Consumers spend a lot of time and money choosing and booking their holiday and have the right to clear and accurate information about how much they will have to pay and which company they are booking with. There are clear regulations in place for that very reason.
“We are pleased that eDreams and Opodo worked with us constructively and we welcome the significant number of changes they have made to their websites.
“These changes make it much simpler for consumers to be able to see the actual price of flights and holidays displayed on the sites – enabling them to compare options more easily.”
He added: “We will continue to monitor the practices of airlines and leading travel companies to ensure consumers have access to clear and accurate information on prices.
“And where we have evidence of misleading practices by companies, we will not hesitate to take action where necessary to protect consumers.”
A spokesman for the two online travel firms said: “At eDreams and Opodo we are focused on making it as quick and easy as possible for the 17 million customers who book with us every year to find the best value and most convenient travel options.
“We have been working closely with the CAA and we’re pleased that they recognise the work we have done to make our customer experience smoother and clearer.
“We are now offering a new price display so that our customers can more easily compare the prices of their travel options, to continue getting the best and most convenient deals.”