European court has ruled that the coverage can no longer be a default setting.
The European Union’s top court has ruled that flight cancellation insurance can no longer be a default setting on websites that sell airline tickets for online purchase.
The coverage must be available only as an opt-in option.
The Court of Justice, located in Luxembourg, has stated that the “buy flight cancellation insurance” box on websites selling plane tickets must be actively clicked by customers if they want the coverage. It cannot be pre-selected so that customers must unclick it if they notice.
The decision of the court said “That requirement is designed to prevent a customer from being induced to purchase additional services which are not necessary for the purposes of the flight unless he chooses expressly to purchase them and to pay the corresponding price supplement.”
This flight cancellation insurance ruling was a part of a case that originated in Germany.
The case involved a consumer protection association in Germany, which filed a suit against ebookers.com Deutschland, in order to cease the automatic selection of the flight cancellation insurance on their online airline ticket sales. The online travel company had previously automatically included the policies in the listed cost of the tickets.
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It had been up to the customer to notice a statement at the bottom of the page which provided instructions regarding how he or she could proceed to reject the coverage if it was not desired.
The ruling also indicated that all surcharge fees as well as the final price must be indicated to the consumer within the listed price of the tickets being sold. From now on, flight cancellation insurance will not be a part of that calculation unless the customer decides to opt-in for the coverage.
The statement from the court regarding its ruling explained that the law of the European Union requires that any supplements to a price must be communicated to a customer in a transparent, clear, and unambiguous way at the beginning of the process of making a reservation. It also said that accepting a supplemental service, such as flight cancellation insurance, that has an attached fee must be presented only as an opt-in, and not a default, basis.