MELBOURNE, Dec 18 – A Federal Court in Melbourne said today low-cost-carrier AirAsia Berhad had been given a hefty A$200,000 (RM645,000) fine for not including taxes and other charges on its website, a violation against the Australian Consumer Law.

According to a report in the Herald Sun, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) said the site did not indicate whether the ticket prices included taxes, fees, loads or other additional costs “in a prominent way and as a single figure”.

The violation involved flights from Melbourne to Macau, London, Ho Chi Minh City, New Delhi, Hangzhou and Chengdu, flights from Perth to Taipei, Phuket, Osaka, London, Ho Chi Minh City and Hangzhou, as well as from the Gold Coast to Ho Chi Minh City, the report said.

Unless the full price is prominently displayed, the consumer may well be attracted to a transaction which he or she would not otherwise have found to be appealing and grudgingly pay the additional imposts rather than go to the trouble of withdrawing from the transaction and looking elsewhere, said Justice Tracey in his judgment.

Therefore, Tracey noted AirAsia’s actions had given them an unfair advantage compared with other companies who comply with the rules.

The report also said that in addition to the fine, AirAsia had also given an undertaking restraining it from engaging in similar conduct for three years.

“This ACCC action vindicates the importance of all inclusive pricing,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

“Consumers must have accurate price information, and in turn, airlines require a level playing field on price representations in this competitive industry where consumers are price sensitive,” the Herald Sun reported.

Source: “AirAsia Fined by Australian Court for Not including Taxes, Charges in Advertised Air Fares.”The Malaysian Insider. N.p., 18 Dec. 2012. Web