The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled a promotion by Eurostar International that offered cheap tickets from £39 was misleading.
The ASA was asked to look into a complaint from a customer who said they were unable to purchase tickets at the promotion price.
An email on 15 July 2023 with the subject line ‘Soak up every second of summer’ promoted seats from London to Paris, Brussels or Lille from £39 each way.
But the complainant was only able to find one ticket from London to Paris at the advertised price.
Eurostar International told the ASA 39,000 seats had been available at the promotional ‘from’ price and that the terms and conditions stated tickets at the advertised price were subject to availability.
On 12 July, a few days before the email was received by the complainant, the promotion said 9,500 tickets were available on both outward and return journeys at the ‘from’ price, for travel between 16 August and 13 December 2023.
However, the ASA said data provided by Eurostar showed the £39 fare had made up a very small percentage of available tickets on routes between London and Brussels, Paris and Lille, although it did acknowledge the terms and conditions of the promotion had stated the number of seats available, and that they were subject to availability.
The ASA upheld the complaint and said Eurostar needed to ensure ‘a significant proportion of the advertised fares were available at the advertised price’ when advertising ‘from’ prices in future.