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Published on Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Flight Centre fined by Australian competition watchdog






Travel agency group Flight Centre paid a $252,000 penalty to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for allegedly misleading  customers in a holiday period promotional campaign.


The Flight Centre promotion offered $250 vouchers for customers spending at least $1,500 on holiday packages during the 2018 Christmas and 2019 Easter season.


The vouchers could then be used for a future travel booking.


However the ACCC said Flight Centre failed to disclose at the time that the vouchers were only valid for the new booking when spending more than $5,000.


"We are concerned that consumers were enticed to purchase their holiday through Flight Centre to obtain a voucher they were not able to use without spending another $5,000, when this was not adequately disclosed," ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said.


"Businesses are warned that the terms and conditions of any deal or promotion must be prominent, so that consumers understand what is involved in redeeming the offer."


Flight Centre sent out the voucher offer to about 35,000 consumers.


Flight Centre has settled the penalty fine but has not admitted liability.


However it has now waived the requirement to spend at least $5,000.

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