Madrid.— The Consumer Federation “FUCI” said yesterday that it has received 1'650 claims and more than 2'500 requests for information from people having had problems with purchasing airline tickets on the internet. The figures are a 14 % increase on complaints registered during the same period last year.

The majority of complaints (46%) relate to hidden surtax or charges that are not clearly marked out in the advertisements for the airline tickets. Then, there were occasions when guarantees were not honoured (22%); offers which later proved “impossible to secure” (17%); duplication of bank charges (10%) and companies making products available which were not requested in the first place (5%).

The President of FUCI, Gustavo Samayao said that the rise in the number of claims and complaints is “worrying.” He pointed out that last year had been a very difficult one for air travellers because of the eruption of the Icelandic volcano and air traffic controller strikes. The situation had meant that there was often headlong conflict between customers and airlines over services which were not provided.

FUCI said that 71% of claims they received were in relation to ticket sales from “low cost” airlines.

Samayao said that at the root of many complaints is the fact that whilst low cost airlines aim to capture customers with bargain tariffs, they compensate through “extra” charges.

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