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The DCO Calls for Clear Marketing of Discount Fares

07. March 2005

"If you have fewer than twenty cheap tickets for sale per day, then make it clear!" This is one of the messages aired by the Danish Consumer Ombudsman [DCO] in a newly released guideline on marketing of flight tickets.

"If you have fewer than twenty cheap tickets for sale per day, then make it clear!" This is one of the messages aired by the Danish Consumer Ombudsman [DCO] in a newly released guideline on marketing of flight tickets. The rules already in force pertaining to price information and marketing also apply although modified and adapted to the present guideline, which is aimed at the airline companies only.

The guideline requires that reservations and limitations as to availability of discount fares only obtainable certain days of the week must be clearly stated in the marketing material. This also applies in cases where cheap tickets are only on offer for a limited number of destinations compared to those normally flown by the airline. Likewise, where the fares advertised must be booked in a particular way in order to become available, this must also be stated.

"Various quarters have informed me that the number of advertised discount fares are often limited", the DCO, Hagen Jørgensen, says and continues: "So the aim of this guideline is to induce the airlines to provide consumers with fair and clear information about these fares in their marketing material".

When advertising discount fares on a regular basis, the airline companies should make it easy and convenient for the consumers to locate these fares; further, they must be valid for flights within three months of the time of advertising.

Information about departures and dates on which discount fares can be obtained should be available via telephone and Internet.

This guideline, in effect as of 1 October 2004, is patterned after the Norwegian guideline on cheap airline fares.

Section 2 of the Danish Marketing Practises Act makes it an offence to make use of incorrect, misleading or unreasonably incomplete information which is likely to affect the demand or supply of goods or services.

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