Advertising Standards upholds complaint over discounted flight ad

Easyjet suspends Israel flights
By Lisa James
Home » Advertising Standards upholds complaint over discounted flight ad

An online travel company has been told it must ensure it is advertising genuine fares, following a complaint from a customer who booked a special offer but was later informed the flight was no longer available at that price.

The complaint was made about an ad that popped up in a paid-for Google search listing for a return flight to Tel Aviv (pictured).

The ad contained a company logo and text ‘Book with Traveldecorum… £440’, next to a ‘continue’ link through to a booking page on the website  

A section on the booking page said the adult fare of £489.31 had been discounted by £50 to £439.31 including taxes and fares.

The complainant booked the flight, made the full payment and received written confirmation but was then told the price stated in the advert was no longer available and there would be an additional £50 to pay.

BBNJ Ltd, trading as Traveldecorum said it used third-party API services to book flights and took appropriate measures, which included regular price checks, to ensure fares were correct.

The company argued that, due to a real-time seat availability issue with the supplier, there was a price discrepancy which led to a booking at a loss, which was therefore declined by the airline.

The ASA upheld the complaint that the advert, which appeared around 23 February, was misleading.

It said it understood that flight prices available through third parties were liable to fluctuate but said: “Advertisers were nevertheless responsible for ensuring that stated prices were genuine and did not mislead.”

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