Added protection for travellers in Ontario a good thing

So, the Ontario government yesterday announced that travel companies can no longer advertise packages unless they include the full price. No more of those annoying ads that say “A week in Cuba, $400” in bold type and then, under that in fine print, words such as “taxes and fees, $250 extra” or “pillows on your bed and hot water in your shower, $5 per day.” No more of that.


It’s not earth-shaking, like the Prime Minister adding a new oil pipeline or admitting that he shouldn’t hold private fundraisers in which he discusses government business with would-be Liberal Party supporters (and I’m a Liberal, by the way). But it’s a nice thing. What’s that you say, though? You thought that was already the case? Well, it has been the case for airlines for a few years. That’s because airlines are regulated by the federal government. The feds a few years back said airlines could no longer advertise special air fares for, say, $400, and then write below that in small letters “departure tax, fuel surcharges and other bits we don’t like to mention but that make us really rich, $395.” So we’ve had that protection in Canada for airlines for some time.

Now folks buying travel packages in Ontario will have it. So it’s good. I can see where older, less sophisticated travellers might especially welcome this, versus you younger, tech savvy folks. Still, extra layers of consumer protection is never a bad thing. Even if it’s not all the way across the country at this point.

Here’s a story from The Toronto Star on the subject:

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