Aer Lingus offered the following promotion by email:
“Just Pay Taxes and charges to Britain
No fare, just pay taxes and charges
For one week only, you pay just the taxes and charges on flights to Britain. Whether you’re planning a weekend break, visiting friends or travelling for business, now’s the time to book for unbeatable value. Travel May - July. Book by 27 April.
Dublin to: Aberdeen, Blackpool, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Isle of Man, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Southend
Cork to: Birmingham, Glasgow, London Heathrow, Manchester
Shannon to: Birmingham, London Heathrow, Manchester
Knock to: Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, London Gatwick, Cardiff, Newcastle”
The small print at the end of the advertisement referred to the fact that the offer was “Subject to terms, conditions and availability.”
The complainant said that when she received the email she tried to book return flights to London during the period of the promotion but was unable to find any fares where she just had to pay the taxes and charges as per the promotion. When she contacted Aer Lingus she was told that the offer was ‘subject to availability’. The complainant disputed this as she said that the offer had clearly stated that if she booked before 27th April she only had to pay ‘taxes and charges.’
The advertisers failed to respond in the matter.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and expressed their concerns at the advertisers’ failure to respond in the matter. They reminded them that there was an onus on all advertisers to demonstrate that their advertising was in conformity with the Code. In the absence of the advertisers’ response the Committee upheld the complaint under Section 2.7 of the Code.
The advertisement must not run in its current form again.