The advertisers’ offered consumers, who subscribed to their direct mailing list, the opportunity to avail of the following:
“American Dreams from just €209
Make your dreams a reality with a trip to North America! Whether it’s sights, shopping, sun or theme parks you’re looking for this winter – we’ll get you there in comfort. Smart books now. Smart flies Aer Lingus.
Terms & Conditions
Transatlantic fares valid for travel 06 January – 30 April 2016. Book by 02 November 2015. Fares are on an each way basis, including taxes, charges and admin fee, to be bought as a return trip including Saturday night stay. Schedule varies by route, see aerlingus.com for full details. New York fare valid from Shannon. Fares vary by month of travel. Limited availability around holiday periods and special events. Offer subject to conditions and availability. Fares correct at time of send”.
The complainant considered the advertising to be misleading. He queried how the offer could be described as an “American Dream” if the price indicated was on a ‘one way’ basis only and a requirement to avail of the offer was to book a return journey.
The advertisers said that their transatlantic fares were quoted on an each way basis and this had been stated in the terms and conditions within their email. They said no reference had been made to one way fares from €209.
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the advertisers had advertised their fares on an ‘each-way’ basis, with a requirement to book on a return basis in the past. The Committee were concerned, however, that this meant that consumers had to calculate the cost of the return fare. They considered that quoting a ‘from fare’ in association with a destination that was not in fact available to purchase on a stand-alone basis was likely to mislead. In the circumstances the Committee considered the advertising to be in breach of 2.22, 2.24 and 2.26 of the Code.
The advertisement should not appear in the same format again.