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Australia accusing Jetstar and Virgin Australia for misleading airfares

Staff writer |
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted separate proceedings in the Federal Court against Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd (Jetstar) and Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd (Virgin).

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ACCC alleges that each airline engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and made false or misleading representations in relation to particular airfares. The conduct which is the subject of the ACCC's allegations in each of these proceedings is an example of what is often referred to as drip pricing.

Drip Pricing is where a headline price is advertised at the beginning of an online purchasing process and additional fees and charges (which may be unavoidable for consumers) are then incrementally disclosed (or 'dripped'). This can result in consumers paying a higher price than the advertised price or spending more than they realise.

The ACCC alleges that Jetstar and Virgin each made representations on their websites and mobile sites that certain domestic airfares were available for purchase at specific prices, when in fact those prices were only available if payment was made using particular methods.

In relation to specific advertised airfares, the ACCC alleges that each airline failed to adequately disclose an additional Booking and Service Fee.

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