Jetstar and Virgin cough up big money for misleading ‘drip pricing’ techniques

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Jetstar and Virgin cough up hundreds of thousands for misleading ‘drip pricing’ techniques

By Tom Steinfort

It’s the dodgy airline tactic that infuriates so many Australian holidaymakers – but finally it’s Jetstar and Virgin who are being forced to pay the price for misleading advertising.

The practice is known as “drip pricing” – when an advertised price becomes unavoidably higher with extra fees as you progress further into an online transaction.

For example, a flight advertised for $139 might jump $17 for credit card booking and service fees.

Jetstar has been deemed the worst offender, hit with a landmark fine in the Federal Court yesterday of $545,000 for using deceptive prices to lure in customers.

Virgin Australia was also fined $200,000.

The ACCC said it chose to take Federal Court action in 2014 due to a large number of complaints from the public, and the strong penalty is designed to send a message to airlines that the tactic will not be tolerated.

Jetstar said it had taken steps to reduce the sneaky tactic via both its web and mobile sites.

“On 1 September 2016 we removed the booking and service fee on domestic and international flights from Australia and we continue to offer a number of fee-free payment options for our customers who prefer not to pay with a credit card,” the airline said in a statement.

Read full article and learn more about Deceptive Advertising here.

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