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Ritz Tours, Inc.
Issued and Served February 15, 2008
This consent order concerns advertisements by Ritz Tours, Inc., that violate the Department’s advertising requirements specified in section 399.84 of the Department’s regulations, and constitute unfair and deceptive trade practices and unfair methods of competition in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41712. This order directs Ritz Tours to cease and desist from future violations and assesses the company compromise civil penalties of $55,000.
Ritz Tours has specialized for over 20 years in offering comprehensive travel packages that include airfare, hotel, river cruises, guided tours and other amenities, particularly to countries in the Far East. During 2005, 2006, and 2007, Ritz Tours promoted air travel packages through printed brochures and mailers, by means of advertisements that were published on its web site and through direct e-mail advertising campaigns. The airfares and air tours promoted in Ritz Tours’ brochures, e-mails and mailers and on its web site, did not comply with Department requirements. More specifically, the listed prices for the complete air, land and cruise packages did not include airline fuel surcharges and they lacked an appropriate notice or hyperlink prominent and proximate to the price that disclosed to the viewer that taxes and fees that are permitted to be listed separately from the advertised price were not included.
By: Rosalind Knapp