FlightHub pledges to avoid 'false' marketing amid probe into hidden fees

OTTAWA — Canada’s competition watchdog has signed an agreement with FlightHub that prohibits the online travel agency from deploying deceptive marketing practices and imposing hidden fees.

The temporary consent agreement, filed at the Competition Tribunal, commits FlightHub to avoid giving a “false or misleading general impression” to the public regarding airfares, seat selection and flight rebooking or cancellation.

The Competition Bureau is accusing the Montreal-based company of garnering “millions of dollars in revenue” from “hidden fees.”

None of the allegations have been proven and FlightHub says it is co-operating with the bureau’s ongoing investigation.

Earlier this year the watchdog executed search warrants and seized records at FlightHub’s headquarters.

It says it has reviewed thousands of consumer complaints about online marketing by FlightHub and its sister travel agency JustFly. 

The agreement is slated to remain in effect until the bureau’s investigation is resolved by a deal with FlightHub or a decision by the quasi-judicial Competition Tribunal.

FlightHub said it has introduced changes to its platforms to address the bureau’s concerns and voluntarily entered into a temporary consent agreement “in the spirit of collaboration.”

“Our goal is to offer our customers complete transparency when it comes to the flights they are booking, the fees they are being charged and the airlines’ policies,” said Christopher Cave, FlightHub’s chief operations officer, in an email.

Last month, the state of California filed a lawsuit against FlightHub and JustFly over alleged “deceptive” business practices that include “false” and “hidden fees.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2019.

The Canadian Press