The Economic Competition Authority (GVH) has launched an investigation against the airline Wizz Air, as it is believed to be misleading consumers about its premium services during online ticket purchases.
According to the information, the airline is likely to withhold (or disclose late) important information from the point of view of consumers’ decisions on its online interfaces in order to influence ticket buyers in the direction of more expensive options. According to the suspicion, the company is hiding from consumers that they have the option to supplement the cheapest package option by ordering priority service or checked baggage. In connection with some higher-cost package options, the company may misleadingly claim that “it can be even more expensive” if you reserve a seat only at check-in – this is probably true only for other, cheaper package options. In addition, during the online passenger check-in, consumers were able to use misleading names and other technical solutions to select premium seats.
Last autumn, following a comprehensive rapid analysis, the Economic Competition Authority strongly warned the airlines available in Hungary to change their methods of imperceptibly distorting consumer decisions during their ticket sales and advertising practices. In October, the authority indicated: if no progress can be detected in the affected market, it may examine the enforcement of the rules of fair competition within the framework of competition supervision procedures.
It was reported that similar, objectionable practices are becoming more and more widespread: the European Commission published the results of a coordinated rapid investigation covering 25 countries at the beginning of last week. Based on the results, a significant number of businesses use unfair methods to distort consumers’ decisions towards options that serve their own interests, by designing their Internet interfaces or using their language.
The initiation of the competition supervision procedure does not mean that the company has committed a violation. The procedure is aimed at clarifying the facts and thereby proving the alleged violation, they wrote.