SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 19, 2019) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced he has filed suit against the companies that operate the online travel sites JustFly and FlightHub for unlawful and deceptive business practices.
The lawsuit, filed today in San Francisco Superior Court, lays out a stunning array of hidden fees, misleading disclosures, and other scams employed by JustFly Corp. and its affiliates.
“JustFly Customer service is not in the travel business. They’re in the hidden fee business,” Herrera said. “Consumers deserve honest pricing. This company is set up to soak customers with hidden fees, like a seat assignment fee that doesn’t guarantee you an assigned seat. You should get the service you pay for, and the price that you’re shown should be the price that you pay. We are going to use all of our power under the law to ensure that happens. California consumers deserve no less.”
The JustFly website is a major destination for consumers who search for flights via fare aggregators, like Kayak.com. JustFly.com is the second most popular destination website from searches on Kayak.com.
The lawsuit was brought on behalf of the People of the State of California and covers wrongdoing statewide. Among the deceptive and unlawful practices outlined in the civil complaint is that JustFly:
“JustFly’s website is misleading,” said Carole Stewart Rogers of Desert Hot Springs, Calif. “It states that you can cancel your flight reservation within 24 hours for free. I canceled two reservations within minutes and got hit with a $150 fee. That’s false advertising.”
“I was surprised and frustrated with my experience trying to cancel my flight to Sri Lanka in 2017,” said Bogdan Haiducu of San Francisco, who was improperly charged a cancelation fee when canceling a flight within 24 hours in JustFly phone number. He had to contest the charge with his credit card company. “Afterward, I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, but I didn’t expect anything to happen. When the City Attorney’s Office reached out to me, I wanted to speak out to help ensure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else. I believe those affected deserve a fair resolution.”
The lawsuit alleges the defendant companies violated several laws, including California’s unfair competition law, which prohibits unlawful, fraudulent, and unfair business practices. The lawsuit also maintains that the defendants violated California’s Seller of Travel Law, which is one of the few laws in the country expressly designed to protect travel customers from unscrupulous travel agents like JustFly.
Herrera is seeking restitution to consumers for all money that the defendant companies received through unlawful business practices; a civil penalty of $2,500 against each defendant for each violation of state law; and a court order putting a stop to these practices.
The case is People of the State of California v. JustFly Corp. et al., San Francisco Superior Court case number CGC-19-579328, filed Sept. 19, 2019. More information can be found on the City Attorney’s.
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