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COMPLY WITH ME

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) reports that based on its monitoring and enforcement actions to date, advertisers of air services in Canada are now complying with the all-inclusive air price advertising requirement of new regulations approved in December 2012. The CTA has now issued a notice to industry stating that it will apply a stricter approach to the enforcement of the all-inclusive price requirement and expects advertisers to maintain compliance on an on-going basis, regardless of the media used. Since the regulations came into effect, the CTA said that it has been using a proactive and collaborative educational approach to ensure that advertisers are aware of their responsibility to comply. It also reached out to national and provincial associations representing the air travel industry to help them understand the obligations of their members and provide guidance on all aspects of the new regulatory requirements. During the first five months from the coming into force of the new regulations, it worked with advertisers to assist them in understanding what they needed to do to become compliant. The Agency also issued a number of formal warnings and gave a reasonable time period to those who were not compliant to amend their website, on-line reservation systems and other applications. All advertisers that have been assessed by the Agency are now compliant with the fundamental requirement that they display the all-inclusive price. As well, the CTA issued monetary penalties to itravel2000.com and FlightNetwork for not advertising the total all-inclusive price on their on-line booking systems. Itravel2000.com did not comply with the all-inclusive price requirement even after multiple contacts and a formal warning from the Agency advising it to amend its on-line booking system. Its lack of cooperation and failure to comply within the deadline established in the warning resulted in a monetary penalty of $40,000. FlightNetwork complied with its on-line website but failed to comply on its mobile website and was issued an $8,000 penalty. The travel agencies are now fully compliant with the all-inclusive price requirement. Geoff Hare, chair and CEO of the CTA, said that: “Monitoring air price advertising will be an on-going effort that will help us reach our goal of price transparency. This will ensure consumers can easily determine the total price of advertised air services, and will promote fair competition in air price advertising.” Go to http://www.otc-cta.gc.ca for more.

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