The Travel Information section of the Aer Lingus website included details on their various fare types. Under the section on Flex Fares it stated:
"We understand that plans can change at the last minute. That’s why we’re delighted to offer you Flex fares, which give you total trip flexibility. You can change the date and time of your flight up to two hours before departure without paying a change fee. Flex fares are also refundable just in case you need to cancel."
The complainant booked two flex fare tickets at a cost of €610.76 after noting that he could either change or cancel the flight, as his plans were not certain. When he realised that he was unable to travel he contacted Aer Lingus to cancel the tickets and obtain a refund. He subsequently received a refund of €58, 9.4% of the original cost. After several enquiries regarding the refund he was advised that the €58 refund represented unused taxes minus an administration fee. The complainant considered that the advertising of the flex fares was misleading as only a fraction of the original fare is refunded.
The advertisers failed to provide a response to the complaint.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint. They expressed their concern at Aer Lingus’s failure to respond to the complaint. They reminded them that there is an onus on advertisers to ensure that their advertising is in conformity with the Code.
The advertisement must not reappear in its current form.