Ryanair was held liable for not providing adequate information or giving misleading information to consumers acquiring the insurance policy covering the risk of travel cancellation.
The Authority has determined that Ryanair's commercial practice violates several articles of the Consumer Code. Ryanair is found to have engaged in deceptive practices by omitting or inadequately providing essential information about its insurance product. This includes the existence of an additional fee, the cost of the service, excesses, and airport taxes and rights that are not refundable. Ryanair's process for obtaining certification to exercise the right to be refunded is considered onerous and disproportionate due to the requirement to contact an extra charge non-geographical telephone number. Additionally, the option to purchase/not purchase the insurance policy is presented in an ambiguous and misleading manner by hiding the statement "Do not need insurance" within the list of European countries. Ryanair also fails to provide adequate information about the economic conditions of the insurance product during the booking process, which is not considered valid to direct consumers to other sources. The commercial practice under scrutiny by Ryanair was found to be in violation of several provisions of the Consumer Code, including Articles 20, 21(b) and (d), 22, 24, and 25. These omissions and misleading information misinform consumers about the actual characteristics of the service offered, resulting in them making commercial decisions they would not have made otherwise. Ryanair's practices violate Reg. EC 1008/2008, art. 23, which obligates the breakdown of cost to be provided. Finally, the Authority considers Ryanair's commercial practice to be aggressive because it imposes non-contractual, onerous, and disproportionate hindrances on consumers who wish to exercise their contractual rights.
Ryanair Ltd was found guilty of unfair commercial practices violating articles 20, 21, b) and d), 22, 24 and 25 of the Consumer Code. They were fined €850,000 and ordered to cease the prohibited practices. The fine must be paid within 30 days, and failure to comply may result in additional sanctions ranging from €10,000 to €5,000,000.
Ryanair Ltd and Italian Competition Authority
Related deceptive patterns
Sneaking involves intentionally withholding or obscuring information that is relevant to the user (e.g. additional costs or unwanted consequences), often in order to manipulate them into taking an action they would not otherwise choose.
Defines the terms related to advertising, including misleading and comparative advertising, and identifies the advertiser.
Describes the conditions that must be met for comparative advertising to be permitted, including requirements for honesty, fair comparison, non-discrediting of competitors, and clarity regarding special offers.
Requires advertising to provide information about potential health and safety risks associated with products.
Prohibits advertising that encourages behavior that is potentially harmful to children.
Considers all aspects of advertising to determine if it is misleading, including information on products, prices, and the advertiser's attributes and rights.