The New York Truth in Travel Act

A New York couple arrange a vacation abroad through their travel agent. They expect a direct flight, deluxe, centrally located accommodations, and guided tours of local attractions. Once they have set out, they discover to their dismay that their flight makes several lengthy stops, their reservations are at a drab and uncomfortable hotel in an inconvenient location, and there are no reservations for the tours. This hypothetical situation is representative of instances of travel fraud, a frequent consumer grievance in what is acknowledged as the considerable volume of travel business being conducted in the United States. New York has attempted to protect travelers from specific fraudulent practices by enacting legislation effective September 1, 1974. This note will describe the new Truth in Travel Act, its potential for curbing travel fraud, its place in the framework of existing common law actions providing remedies for such fraud, and state and federal legislation regulating the travel business. Having examined the framework encompassing the Act, the note will conclude by comparing the Act to other federal and state regulatory efforts, in order to analyze its effectiveness and to suggest improvements.