The European Commission says travel platforms Booking.com and Expedia have improved the way they present their accommodation offers in order to bring their sites into line with EU consumer law.
The changes follow talks with the commission and EU consumer authorities and come after initial actions by competition authorities in the Netherlands and Hungary. AirBnb had made similar changes last year under the EU’s legal framework for protecting consumers’ rights.
The commission says Booking.com and Expedia are now displaying more accurate information in a range of areas, including which offers are promoted, and how payments received by accommodation providers have influenced rankings.
The companies will also show the total price the consumer will pay for the accommodation, including mandatory fees and charges, and whether the host is a professional or a private person. There will also be more transparency on discounts.
The commission had been particularly concerned about ensuring precise and easy access to cancellation practices as part of the response to travel disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders urged all online travel service operators to follow the same example. The commission warned that national consumer authorities would now take further steps to hold the whole industry accountable to the same standards.