Publicly traded holiday and flight deal finder Travelzoo pledge to introduce changes to its fly.com website to provide essential information to passengers with disabilities.
An on-going disability compliance test by Reduced Mobility Rights on online travel agents found only two websites out of a total of 27 sites assessed to date in compliance with Regulation 1107/2006.
NetFlights.com and CheapFlights.com websites feature exhaustive information for travellers with special needs. Netflights.com is an online travel agent owned and operated by Thomas Cook while Cheapflights.com is a flight deals publisher. Just like Travelzoo, Cheapflights Media Ltd are not travel agents; CheapFlights.com publishes deals from legacy and low cost airlines and travel operators.
Over half of noncomplying websites are owned and operated by travel agents members of ABTA, the Association of British Travel Agents.
On Wednesday, online media giant Travelzoo with 26 million subscribers and 25 offices worldwide issued the following statement.
“Travelzoo is not an online travel agent. Travelzoo publishes the best deals from UK partners to its 3.2 million UK subscribers. We appreciate the feedback from Reduced Mobility Rights and always look for ways to improve what we do. Having looked at the group of companies that were tested, it is more appropriate to respond with action on Fly.com, a flight-only comparison website and property of Travelzoo,” a spokesperson for Travelzoo said. “We don’t sell the flights directly, we introduce our visitors to airlines and agent partners. Following the recommendations, we will include a link on the homepage of Fly.com with details about special assistance as required by article 4.3 of the EU Regulation 1107/2006. This will go live on the next release of the website.”
Following our initial report, ABTA said that “Flight Centre has told us that it welcomes any feedback and comments and will always investigate any points raised to ensure that it can provide the best service to cater for any individual inquiry. ABTA will work with Flight Centre to ensure the appropriate amendments are made.“
Australia's largest travel company, Flight Centre operates websites and 2,500 stores in ten countries across the world, employing over 13.500 people. Flight Centre is publicly traded in the Australian Stock Exchange. The Canada facing website is the only Flight Centre site featuring information for passengers with disabilities.
On Tuesday, the UK Civil Aviation Authority issued the following statement. "We are concerned about the reports of potential failure to comply with various elements of equality legislation highlighted by Reduced Mobility Rights, and considering the issues raised.”