Mexico wants to tackle deceitful advertising of low-cost flight tickets

The consumer protection agency blames airlines of hiding costs with their online ticket prices, deeming their communication illegal and misleading. Pandemic should not be a reason, it stressed out.

Viva Aerobus airline
Viva Aerobus is targeted by the Mexican government for misleading communications on its flight ticket prices | © Tomás Del Coro, 2019

During an event on the development of the tourism sector organized by the Mexican ministry of economy in October 14, the head of PROFECO, the Federal Consumer Prosecutor’s Office, sighed that airlines companies gave him serious “headache“.

He considers airlines companies deceive consumers by making them to believe flights are cheap with false advertising. “The pandemic and trying recover from their losses is not a reason” for such behaviors, he explained about the aerial transportation industry.

In 2020, Mexico lost 44% of its international tourists, in a year where international tourism went back to an activity close to the ‘80s. But by keeping its open air and airports open during 2020, Mexico was less impacted than other popular touristic destinations like Italy, France, Spain or the United States.

In the last 60 or 90 days, all airlines unilaterally and illegally decided that the standard rate does not include your hand luggage, whereas the law specifically mentions it“. “Flying is not cheap“, he further added.

Along with costs for a hand luggage, not including the airport fees, paying an extra to be able to sit next to your under-age child are targeted by the agency as unlawful and deceitful operations.

In September 6, the agency gave Viva Aerobus, a Mexican low-cost airline company, “24 hours to suspend its misleading advertising“.

Read more about Mexico

Emite Profeco medidas preventivas para Viva Aerobus, BP y Vips por publicidad engañosa, Mexican government, September 2021, Free accessEl Desarrollo del Sector Turístico a partir de la Normalización, YouTube, October 2021, Free accessCoronavirus en México: cómo el país se convirtió en un oasis para turistas internacionales en medio de la pandemia, BBC, February 2021, Free access

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